Blogging The Boys will begin taking a look at some of the NFL Draft prospects that will be in the 2018 NFL Draft class. Some weeks, we will look at potential targets that will be within the Cowboys’ expected draft range. Others, we will highlight some of the elite members of the class.
Another week, another draft prospect to familiarize yourself with here at BTB!
We have looked at ten defensive prospects — ranging from defensive tackle to cornerback — and three offensive prospects — two wide receivers and one offensive tackle. The Cowboys could opt to add a weapon to Dak Prescott’s disposal, but many believe that Dallas will ultimately look to continue building their defense.
To get caught up with all of our previous installments, make sure to scroll down to the bottom of this article for all of the reviews that we have done. This week, we will take a look at dynamic safety that is expected to be available in the back-half of the first-round.
Could the Cowboys add a defensive back from the most successful collegiate program over the last decade to their young secondary?
Ronnie Harrison — safety, Alabama Crimson Tide
Ronnie Harrison is among the best defensive back prospects for the upcoming 2018 NFL Draft. The safety is one of the more important and valuable players one of the best teams in America. Harrison’s ability to roam the secondary and also defend the run makes him one of the more intriguing prospects in this class. There will be many teams wanting to add the Alabama safety to their franchise come February.
As expected when you play at the University of Alabama, Harrison was a highly-regarded recruit when he came out of high school in the class of 2015. The Tallahassee, Florida, native was ranked among the top 100 players in the nation and was originally set on joining Ryan Switzer and play for the North Carolina Tar Heels, however Nick Saban came calling and the rest is history.
Harrison has been a solid contributor since his first season in Tuscaloosa. As a true freshman, Harrison played in 14 games for the Tide; he totaled 17 total tackles (six solo), a tackle-for-loss, and even got to the quarterback once. On top of that, the freshman picked off two passes, forced a fumble, and blocked a punt. It was a solid debut season for a freshman on the national champs.
Harrison only improved from year-one to year-two. As a sophomore, the Florida native’s role increased for one of the better defenses in the nation. He once again played 14 games for the Tide, but his numbers jumped across the board. Harrison recorded 83 tackles, 56 of which were solo, and was credited with 1.5 TFL’s. The sophomore once again intercepted two passes — one of which was a pick-six — and he even recovered two fumbles, one for a scoop-and-score, and blocked a field goal attempt. Needless to say, number 15 makes plays.
He has been even more valuable to the Tide this season. Alabama lost cornerback Marlon Humphrey to the Baltimore Ravens in the first-round of the NFL Draft, and the Tide have suffered injuries at the linebacker position this season. Superstar safety Minkah Fitzpatrick is still there, but it’s been clear that the former four-star recruit has had to step up for Nick Saban’s squad in 2017.
And, he has.
Harrison has recorded 68 total tackles through 12 games this season, 39 of which were solo. The safety has also added 3.5 tackles behind the line of scrimmage and is credited with a career-high 2.5 sacks this season. The defensive back has also deflected three passes and has come down with a whopping three interceptions with potentially two more games to go. The junior is a big reason why Alabama is in the College Football Playoffs and has the opportunity to play for a national championship for the third consecutive season.
Matt Miller of Bleacher Report went as far as to compare Harrison to All-Pro safety Kam Chancellor of the Seahawks. That’s some pretty big praise.
Ronnie Harrison is the thumper of the Alabama secondary and compares favorably to Kam Chancellor of the Seattle Seahawks.
I don’t know about you, but I think a secondary featuring Jourdan Lewis, Chidobe Awuzie, Xavier Woods, Byron Jones, and Ronnie Harrison could be extremely intriguing.
*Gifs courtesy of M&M Productions; stats gathered from sports-reference.com
Catch up with our previous installments below!
NFL Draft Prospect to Know: Austin Bryant, DE Clemson
NFL Draft Prospect to Know: Tarvarus McFadden, CB Florida State
NFL Draft Prospect to Know: Martinas Rankin, OL Mississippi State
NFL Draft Prospect to Know: James Washington, WR, Oklahoma State
NFL Draft Prospect to Know: Dre’Mont Jones, DT, Ohio State
NFL Draft Prospect to Know: Bradley Chubb, DE, NC State
NFL Draft Prospect to Know: Maurice Hurst, DT, Michigan
NFL Draft Prospect to Know: Daron Payne, DT, Alabama
NFL Draft Prospect to Know: Isaiah Oliver, CB, Colorado
NFL Draft Prospect to Know: Roquan Smith, LB, Georgia
NFL Draft Prospect to Know: Calvin Ridley, WR, Alabama
NFL Draft Prospect to Know: Harold Landry, DE, Boston College
NFL Draft Prospect to Know: Derwin James, Safety, Florida State