We're pretty big John Harris fans around these parts, as he's the rare media member who actually breaks down film. The fact that Harris has been friends with Houston Texans head coach Bill O'Brien for more than twenty years and just might have some insight into O'Brien's thinking about how to build a football team is just a bonus.
Harris has released his list of the Top 100 players available in the 2016 NFL Draft, and it's worth your time to read the entire compliation. In the interest of starting a discussion here, I'll divulge a handful of Harris' rankings and some of his thoughts on select prospects.
5. Jared Goff (QB--California): "...the leap he's made from skinny true freshman to accomplished third year starter was stark and made him a top ten caliber player in this draft class."
6. Ezekiel Elliott (RB--Ohio State): "...1st TD run v. Oregon in the 2014 national championship game showed the full package - vision to find the hole, jump cut to get clean, burst past the safety in the alley, cutting ability to start to the sideline then upfield, the power to fight through a defensive back tackle effort and the speed to embarrass the secondary…a special back..."
10. Carson Wentz (QB--North Dakota State): "There's little question which player got everyone's attention in Mobile. He was as advertised. He spun it well throughout the week. There wasn't a throw that he couldn't make, even though it took a bit to get comfortable with an eclectic mix of North team receivers. It's been a meteoric rise, but it's warranted. The ball comes out of his hands hot but it's a catchable ball. Heard a couple of scouts discussing Wentz and the two were convinced that he wasn't getting out of the top 12 or 13."
13. Paxton Lynch (QB--Memphis): "...does rush some throws at time and the ball placement can be off when he's out of rhythm...has a plus arm but doesn't have quite the velocity of a guy with similar dimensions in the league - Ryan Mallett...however, he can launch it deep - see the reverse TD pass v. Bowling Green - 65 yards in the air with ease...can escape the pocket and make plays with his legs...in fact, he's much faster than his 6-7 frame might indicate..."
65. Christian Hackenberg (QB--Penn State): "...mechanics, footwork and timing seemed to be well off from what it was as a freshman under Bill O’Brien…new ‘O’, new guidance, new objectives take time to adjust…that said, he has more next level gifts than any player in this draft eligible class...there are a ton of reasons why he didn't succeed at Penn State but those will fall on deaf ears for many for a number of reasons."
Thus, according to Harris, it would seem like a tandem of Ezekiel Elliott in the first round and Christian Hackenberg in the second round would be worthy of great praise. Alternatively, it would seem to be a no-brainer for the Texans to grab Goff, Wentz, or Lynch on the off chance any of them is available at No. 22; heck, based on Harris' rankings, it makes sense to make a move up in the first round to grab one of those QBs.
What say you, either about those possibilities or any of Harris' rankings?