Center – Nick Harris – Washington
Nick Harris is my pick for the prospect that best fits the Chiefs in this draft class. The Chiefs need an upgrade at center. Austin Reiter was fine, but he’s a replacement level player. His pass protection was adequate, but his contribution to the run game was, well, not good. Perhaps the biggest dropoff the Chiefs saw with Reiter at center after Mitch Morse left town was in overall mobility. Morse was constantly pulling on outside runs and screens and was good about getting to the second level as well. Reiter simply isn’t that mobile. To put it nicely, he basically gets in the way of the primary defender in front of him and that’s about it.
Nick Harris is the best center on the move in this draft class. I understand that Cesar Ruiz tested better, and I certainly agree Ruiz deserves to be the higher rated center, but Harris’ tape is the most impressive from a mobility standpoint and he’ll be available a round or two after Ruiz. Take a look at how effortlessly he gets to the second level in the clips in the tweet below.
Harris saw his stock drop a little after Senior Bowl practices where he was overpowered in a couple of one on one drills against more physical defensive tackles. It’s true that power isn’t Harris’ strong point. He isn’t a center that you line up one on one with the strongest defensive tackles and expect him to drive them backwards. However, if you look at the clips in the tweet below you see how well he works with the rest of the line. His combo blocks and awareness to come off them to pick up other defenders is great.
I believe that Harris would provide the Chiefs with the center they’ve been lacking since Mitch Morse left for Buffalo. He could be had in the second or third round and seems like a perfect fit for how Andy Reid’s offense likes to spread the defense out from sideline to sideline to create space for his playmakers. I wouldn’t be surprised to hear the Chiefs call his name at the end of the second round.
Honorable Mention: Netane Muti – Fresno State
While I feel like Nick Harris is the best fit for the Chiefs interior line, I’m still a sucker for a lineman that can overpower defenders. Netane Muti has a terrible injury history. He’d be a gamble to take from a reliability standpoint, but in terms of talent he’s as good of guard prospect as any in this draft class. He has the mobility to play in Reid’s offense, but the power to drive defenders out of plays. He could be a future Pro Bowler or he could be out of the league in a couple of years due to nagging injuries. I’ve got a huge crush on his tape, I just wish he had been healthy to provide more of it.
Next up, a defensive tackle that’s flying under the radar.