8. Chris Harper, Kansas State, 6’ 3⁄4”, 229 pounds, 4.55 –
Chris Harper is a big-bodied, thickly built wide receiver who uses his size to his full advantage in every aspect of his game.
A converted quarterback, Harper understands the art of running routes. He only needs to refine his technique, and he has the ability to be effective using the whole route tree. Harper’s hands are impressively strong and he does a great job of plucking the ball out of the air and away from his body. When he has the ball in his hands, he turns and gets up the field quickly.
Harper possesses deceptive elusiveness in the open field, but when he is met by contact he uses his power to get the tough yards after the catch. He also has deceptive long speed to occasionally take off downfield with a double move, and has both the size and athleticism to create mismatches when he does. He has very good body control and ability to adjust his body to the ball. He uses his big frame to box out defenders from the ball like a power forward in basketball. Harper has good leaping ability (35 1⁄2” vertical) which combined with his ability to shield defenders away from the football gives him a significant advantage over shorter faster cornerbacks.
All of these same attributes make him a great target in the red zone. As with many wide receiver prospects in the draft class, his ability to refine his game will determine how much success he enjoys at the next level. I predict that success will come sooner rather than later. He is the receiver in this class that most closely reminds me of Anquan Boldin.