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While the NFL Draft is full of budding superstars, there are always skilled college players that did not play at the best schools or were apart of committees that go onto success at the next level.  I joshharperwant to discuss Fresno State wide receiver, Josh Harper, who had a somewhat disappointing 2014 season, perhaps because his former quarterback, Derek Carr, played his first year for the Raiders.  After reviewing three of his games against Nebraska, San José State, and Boise State, it seems that the wide out has the skill level to play in the NFL.  Here are my observations:

WR Josh Harper, Fresno State, 6’ 1” 191 lbs.

Cons: The receiver has a very slender build and suffered a lot of injuries during his college career.  There is not a lot of explosion to his game (this includes his 4.64 40 yard time at the NFL Combine), which was evident every time he got out leapt, especially on long passes.  Harper is not very precise on his route running and could only catch passes thrown to him waist-high or above.  As a run blocker, he was very inconsistent either sealing his man off or just fell down with little effort.  I see more of a possession receiver than a budding superstar.

Pros: Harper is very smooth off the line and looks fluid, almost gliding effortlessly around the field.  He lined up on the outside and in the slot.  The wide out looked his best on bubble screens and crossing routes with his quick feet.  His smoothness is what creates separation from him and the defensive backs.  Harper had a knack for getting behind his coverage, but then due to poor quarterback play would end up coming back to the ball to fight for it. He is not afraid to get handsy down the field and can shield the pigskin from defenders on decent throws.  The receiver has soft hands and did his best to catch the ball away from his body.  In the open field, the wide out uses his vision to adjust to blockers and make the best cuts to gain extra yardage.  He fights for extra yardage with good leg strength and isn’t afraid to throw a stiff-arm or two out there.

Overall thoughts:  While there are some doubts as to whether Harper will become a productive NFL receiver, he deserves a chance in deeper leagues in the later rounds if the wide out can overcome his injuries and get some explosion back in his legs.  I might not select him in a rookie draft, but I will keep an eye out on him during the summer to see what he does with whatever NFL team he ends up on.

 

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  1. By Josh Harper: A forgotten wide out? - on 14 Apr 2015 at 8:31 am

    […] By Andy Miley […]

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