When the LA Rams drafted a very talented but extremely raw wide receiver – or is he a tight end? – Jacob Harris in 2021, there was only a remote chance that he would earn his way into the team’s offensive rotation. Had he remained healthy, he likely would have seen action in the NFL Playoffs and in Super Bowl LVI. As it stands, he was simply a Rams player on the sidelines in street clothes cheering for his teammates
Now, there are several hues of ‘raw’ when discussing rookie preparedness for the NFL. While the term is frequently used to describe any newcomer to the pros who are not considered an immediate plug-n-play immediate starter, Harris is far beneath that threshold. His early sports exposure was in soccer, not football. The problem with that type of cross-training is that soccer never uses the hands while playing the game of football at any receiver position is all about the hands.
Harris worked through the handicap by walking on (no scholarship) for the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers as a freshman. He transferred to the University of Central Florida (UCF) for his final three seasons of NCAA football eligibility. Over that abbreviated college career, Harris saw two years of college football on offense, where he played 21 games, made 49 catches for 987 yards and nine touchdowns. In his draft profile, he was described as a player with elite size and speed. But in the same breath, he was also referred to as: “Hands were a mess at times”.
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