Scouting Legend Says Bucs A Fit With Damien Harris

April 5th, 2019

Wait a minute, a hero in the scouting community doesn’t seem to think Peyton Barber is a three-down running back?

Well, perhaps Barber will be too tired for pass catching because Bucs officials see him gaining 1,300 yards on the ground this season.

Regardless, the Bucs are paper thin at running back, and it’s worth noting that Jacquizz Rodgers has no team.

NFL scouting godfather and Hall of Famer Gil Brandt says the Bucs should attack the third-down back position in the NFL Draft and the other Alabama running back, Damien Harris, is their guy.

Damien Harris: Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tampa tied for 30th in the NFL last season in average yards per carry (3.9) and average rushing yards gained on first down (also 3.9). New head coach Bruce Arians said he wants to build around Peyton Barber, but Barber has yet to demonstrate he’ll be able to play a major role in the Bucs’ passing attack, finishing last season with a career-high 20 catches. 2018 second-rounder Ronald Jones, meanwhile, was a disappointment as a rookie, finishing with 44 yards on 23 carries in nine games. Tampa will likely use its first two picks (Nos. 5 and 39 overall) to address defensive needs, but it would make sense to look for a pass-catching back as early as Round 3. Enter Harris, who proved to be a steady player capable of running inside or outside and excelled at catching the football for the Crimson Tide.

Joe likes that Harris only had 477 carries through four Alabama seasons. That’s a guy with fresh legs but limited wear is no reason to draft a guy. Harris can play and he is a true dual threat, but Joe isn’t sure the guy can be special. Maybe he trickles into Round 3 for the Bucs. Doubtful.

Below is a peak at Harris from the NFL Scouting Combine, complete with the hurdle finish.

24 Responses to “Scouting Legend Says Bucs A Fit With Damien Harris”

  1. Mort Says:

    Come on, Joe. We already have a future pro bowler on the roster according to Brandy!

  2. Sport Says:

    I know it’s hard to do for some, but I’m in the camp of trusting BA. We haven’t had a meaningful (positive) identity since we were stacked with HOFrs and should be HOFrs throughout our defense.

    I believe we will have one with BA.

  3. Anonymous Says:

    I love Harris!! I hope we trade down and take him with the extra pick. Great vision, runs hard, finishes runs and as stated can catch/block on 3rd down.

  4. ncbucsfan Says:

    I love Harris!! I hope we trade down and take him with the extra pick. Great vision, runs hard, finishes runs and as stated can catch/block on 3rd down.

  5. Joeypoppems Says:

    I like Damien Harris. I think he would be a great fit for this offense. I just dont know how i feel about taking another RB on day 2. Maybe if they get an extra pick id be more ok with it.

    If he falls to day 3 i would be more excited for it.

  6. Anonymous Says:

    Of course my pick for third down back is Benny Snell, Jr., but if BA does not agree Harris sounds like a good second choice. Snell has the same speed as Harris and they both are the same height but Snell is 8 pounds heavier than Harris and has been a leader for years and not just his last year like Harris, and Snell gained 3,873 yards in the tough SEC Conference, which is a lot more than Harris, and unlike Harris, Snell was named the Top Back in the SEC and reminded me of Cook at FSU. Snell thrashed the Gator’s Elite Defense that held down Michigan in the Peach Bowl! If the Bucs take Harris, I don’t think he will out produce Snell wherever he goes!

  7. Arian Nation Says:

    I believe the 3rd round pick should be Darrell Henderson, 1st team All-American RB from Memphis. This 5’9″ 208 LB Back averaged 8.9 yards rushing for 22 TD’s. He averaged 15 yards per catch for another 3 TD’s.

    Chris Simms has him as the 3rd best back and calls him “Lightning in a bottle.”Bucky Brooks said he was the best receiving back in the draft and Kiper says he’s his #3 RB.

    He sounds like he would be a perfect fit for a 3rd down back and would work well with Barber taking the most of the workload

    If the Bucs trade back 5 spots in the draft and get Denver’s 1 & 3rd, it would be like getting DH for free. Plus with the #10 they could pick up Sweat or White. Worse case scenario, they could get Devin Bush or Jonah Williams.

    If you can look back at how BA used David Johnson, you could see he has a few spots in his playbook for Henderson.

  8. straightcashhomey Says:

    Now THIS is someone that an intelligent draft personnel discussion can be had around…Gil Brandt. Straight stud!

    Almost all other draft or roster related “sources” used by the @Joe’s often are just atrocious, lacking any actual decades-long front office personnel experience firsthand, or NFL playing experience to then justify muttering a word.

    Anyways…..watched almost all of Bama’s games since 2011 and Damien Harris would be indeed a real wise pick-up for the Bucs in the late 3rd round. The way he always finds yards, hardly any wasted motion between the tackles, goal line, excellent 3rd down and 4th down threat with phenomenal hands. Saban always raved about his team leadership skills, his football IQ is off the charts, team-first guy.

    Brandt wisely (somewhat predictably) picked a good one!

    Get Quinnen Licht!

  9. DB55 Says:

    If I were Licht I’d draft every player from Alabama that I could. If nothing else you know they know how to win.

  10. ManzielMadness Says:

    I love Benny Snell… just don’t know if we can justify using that high a pick on a RB when we need to focus on the defense (and RG).

  11. ManzielMadness Says:

    Damien Harris wouldn’t be a bad prospect either.

  12. 813bucboi Says:

    4th round….go get him….


  13. Pickgrin Says:

    Better fix the Oline first.

    Any RB you put back there will struggle behind the league’s 31st ranked run blocking Oline.

    Both starting Tackles are liabilities in the run game so the huge hole at RG must be filled with authority

    A plug and play road-grater at RG is probably the Bucs biggest need right now. Should be able to get a guy like that with our high 2nd rd pick most likely.

    We do need a fast, athletic, pass catching back to complement Barber’s talents – but I would rather mine for DL riches in the 3rd and 4th rds of this year’s very deep DL draft – than be spending either of those picks on another RB.

    Wilson could be that guy – and we should see a lot better things from ROJO this year as well

    Draft a RB in the 6th or 7th maybe or just bring in a couple promising UDFAs. You don’t need a “special” RB if you have a top 5 passing attack and your OLine can be at least average when called upon to run block….

    Rd 1. – Williams/Allen or trade down and pick up your needed ILB in either White or Bush depending on how far back your 1st pick becomes.

    Rd 2 – Best OG you can get your hands on

    Rd 3 – DT/DE

    Rd 4 – DT/DE

    Rd 5 – OT

    Rd 6 – BPA RB/QB/LB/CB/Safety

    Rd 7 – BPA

  14. Defense Rules Says:

    Would love to get Damien Harris, but not at the expense of drafting a MLB, RG & DE. IOW, if we can get him with an extra 3rd round pick, great. If we don’t trade down & can get him in the 4 round, great. He’s a super prospect, but the Bucs have too many critical holes to fill that we can only afford to fill through the draft.

    In the final analysis though, I agree with Sport … we need to trust BA in this draft. He knows better than any of us what the priorities need to be to field a competitive TEAM.

  15. geno711 Says:

    I think Mort wins the comments.

  16. Kalind Says:

    Muuuuuxh more into Sanders

  17. Alanbucsfan Says:

    I’ll take Gil Brandt’s analysis over Dirk Koetter coaching any day.

  18. jerseybuc Says:

    Every team has the same scouting view. This is a Defense, and especially DL heavy draft, and very few teams will invest early in a RB. Which means, the second and third round will start to see these RB’s come off the board. With Licht’s history, I can see him trading up to grab someone high on his board in round 3. All the more reason to trade back early to get extra swag to deal. We need a lot of players, so I am hoping he doesn’t do this and instead trusts his scouts and shows some patience.

  19. Billy_43 Says:

    Better load up on Defense.
    Even if we get an extra pick Id rather have another DL.
    Way way way too many running back busts to even gamble when our D is this bad.

  20. Buccluck Says:

    Alabama running backs scare me. They always look great playing behind that NFL offensive line at the college level. Not so much against an actual nfl defense. Some have panned out. Most have not.

  21. BucEmUp Says:

    Koetter hardly called any passes in the running game to anyone comparred to the chiefs, saints. It was their go to every Sunday

  22. TDTB Says:

    I like Pickgrin’s thinking. The one change I would propose is two trade downs in the first round with Bush, Burns, Taylor, Ford, Williams or Simmons being the first pick (I think they need to trade down in second too). If they can convert 5th overall to two 1st round picks, they could potentially land Taylor/Ford/Williams and Risnor/Bradbury. Boom, O-Line fixed for two years. I love White and think he’s the pick at 5th overall, but the team has too many holes to fall in love with a player. Would love Harris at RB, but I think Holyfield, Singletary, Henderson and/or Anderson will be available at bottom of the draft. Would also like to see them draft a kicker with the last pick…either Tracy or Seibert.

  23. Mort Says:

    Alanbucsfan: it’s not a Gil over Dirk thing, it’s Gil saying we already have a future pro -bowler on the roster. Read the link.

  24. Anonymous Says:

    They need to trade down if possible to get as many draft picks they can, since they need so much help all around.