Instant analysis: Jacob Harris’ skill set stands out in Rams’ crowded receiving corps

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Cameron DaSilva
·2 min read
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Robert Woods, Cooper Kupp and Van Jefferson are all touted as being precise route runners and stand between 6-foot and 6-foot-2. DeSean Jackson and Tutu Atwell are both burners who can stretch the field vertically as smaller receivers under 5-foot-11. Looking at the Rams’ depth chart, they have a lot of similarities within their receiving corps, which makes the selection of Jacob Harris in the fourth round so interesting.

Harris is 6-foot-5 and 219 pounds and at his pro day, he ran a 4.39. Players that big aren’t supposed to be that fast, but Harris brings a rare combination of size, speed and leaping ability to the picture, which is a skill set the Rams were previously lacking.

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Sure, they have Tyler Higbee, who’s 6-foot-6 and 255 pounds, but he’s not going to run by many players, certainly not defensive backs. Brycen Hopkins, last year’s fourth-round pick, is 6-foot-4 and 245 pounds with 4.66 speed. That’s a good time for a tight end, which puts into perspective just how fast Harris is.

And he can win vertically, too. Harris has a 40.5-inch vertical and jumped 11 feet, 1 inch in the broad, showcasing his explosiveness. That leaping ability didn’t always shine on tape at UCF, but he’s still learning the position after playing just one year of high school football and spending two seasons as a contributor in college.

If he can utilize his athleticism and size properly, he can be a unique player in the Rams’ offense. He’s not going to have a big role as a rookie, but his ceiling is high as a downfield weapon and jump-ball threat in the red zone.

With the lack of size Los Angeles has at wide receiver, Harris brings a different flavor to the mix. It’ll be fun to watch how Sean McVay deploys him, whether it’s as a true tight end or more of a chess piece who can line up outside, in the slot and inline.

There’s a little bit of boom-or-bust with this pick, but if Harris can improve his hands and become a better blocker, he has a real chance to stand out in the Rams’ offense two or three years from now.