Andrew Berry draft review: Nick Harris’ time comes in 2022

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With training camp just a little over a week away, it is a perfect time to do some reviews for the Cleveland Browns. This offseason has been the third for GM Andrew Berry and head coach Kevin Stefanski together. While their tenures are going to be marked primarily by their decision to trade for Deshaun Watson and move on from Baker Mayfield, there is more to review.

For Berry, returning to the Browns was a chance to make his name outside of that of Sashi Brown. Brown brought Berry to the Browns but proceeded with one of the biggest tear-downs and rebuilds that had ever been seen in the NFL.

When Berry was hired, he made it clear that he would be aggressive in running the front office and that much has been clear.

With his third draft having just been completed, we take a look back at the first two drafts and what has been seen so far. His first selection was LT Jedrick Wills, who we looked at earlier this weekend. This second selection was safety Grant Delpit out of LSU, who we have also covered.

DT Jordan Elliott provides an interesting situation as a player who could start but also could be competing for a roster spot in 2022. LB Jacob Phillips is in a similar situation with injury concerns and lack of opportunities real concerns.

The team’s fourth-round pick, TE Harrison Bryant is another interesting player to look at from Berry’s first draft. With Austin Hooper gone, Bryant has an increased role this year.

Another player with a chance to finally have a time to shine is fifth-round pick OL Nick Harris:

Strengths

Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

  • Speed/Agility – Harris’ game starts with his ability to get out and move. Considered perfect for a zone blocking scheme, the former Washington Husky fits what Cleveland wants to do.

  • Leverage – Like most axioms, ‘low man wins’ isn’t always true especially if higher man can run over lower man. For the Browns new starting center, he has to make this axiom true almost always. Harris is able to use his stout frame to create leverage and control bigger defensive linemen most of the time.

  • Work ethic – Since arriving in Cleveland in 2020, Harris has been one of the hardest workers on the team both in the weight room, on his diet and in film study with former starter J.C. Tretter.

Weaknesses

(AP Photo/Ron Schwane)

  • Size – No two ways about it, Harris is a small offensive lineman at 6’1″. He is in the zero percentile of all offensive linemen ever measured at the NFL draft and in the eighth percentile for arm length. Nothing he can do about either of those things.

  • Limited other athletic traits – Harris has agility for days but his Relative Athletic Score is low because he showed poor strength and explosiveness along with his limited size. His hard work at the NFL level can help some of that but concerns continue.

  • Technique – At times, Harris can get a little too creative trying to deal with bigger, stronger players when head up including a two-foot hop back to try to regain leverage. Working with Bill Callahan will continue to improve him here but he can panic a bit when faced with bigger guys.

Outlook

Harris is likely to start for Cleveland after mostly sitting behind Tretter for his first two years. He looked good against the Green Bay Packers in his lone start of 2021 but now needs to do so game in and game out against a variety of players.

If the Browns are able to use him to his strengths, Harris will be great moving around. If he needs to hold up at the point of attack against bigger, stronger players like Cam Heyward on a regular basis, Ethan Pocic could take over as the starter.

What Harris is good at, he is very good at and continues to work hard at getting better. Most of Harris’ weaknesses can only be overcome by the scheme because his size and most of his athletic traits are mostly limited by genetics.

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