Among the many talented future NFL players on the Alabama Crimson Tide roster, running back Damien Harris deserves his fair share of praise. While Harris hasn’t seen the massive workload many other top college football running backs have, he’s remained a top 2019 NFL Draft prospect. Following a season in which the Crimson Tide finished No. 1 in the nation, his stock continues to rise.
Harris wrapped up his senior season with another impressive stat line. Although he received just 126 carries through the first 13 games (prior to the playoff), he averaged 6.1 yards per carry with 771 yards and seven touchdowns. Over the past three seasons, Alabama’s top running back posted averages of 7.1, 7.4 and 6.1 yards per carry while topping 1,000 yards in both 2016 and 2017.
For good measure, Harris has now combined to score 18 touchdowns through the past 17 games in his college career. He’ll finish out his time with the Crimson Tide by playing in the College Football Playoff with a chance to add to his impressive career numbers.
Let’s take a look at what the draft analysts have to say about Harris as an NFL prospect, his current stock and the projected round he could be selected in.
Damien Harris’ NFL Draft Stock
While there’s a number of intriguing running backs in the 2019 NFL Draft, Harris certainly deserves his fair share of attention. Fortunately, he’s getting it, and the proof of that comes from the latest big board released by ESPN’s Mel Kiper. Kiper has the 5-foot-11, 215 pound running back listed as the No. 1 overall player at his position.
He’s also not the only one, as Walter Football lists Harris as the top prospect entering the draft. In an interesting point made by the site, the lack of wear-and-tear on Harris has to be appealing to NFL franchises who are in need of a running back.
Even though Harris has played four years with the team, he’s only 21 years old and has totaled 453 carries over that span. He’s averaging under 115 carries per season, and if teams view him as a player with the potential to be a legitimate starter, that’s an appealing outlook.
When Damien Harris Could Be Drafted
How the running back position plays out in the NFL draft is going to be a major talking point. Kiper went as far as stating that he believes there’s “no first-round running back in this class.” There seems to be a real chance that any of the top running backs could wind up coming off the board first as well.
On the opposite side, in a recent mock draft from Draft Tek, they have Harris as the No. 24 pick in the first round, going to the Tennessee Titans. This is a spot where he’d wind up sharing the backfield with another former Crimson Tide running back in Derrick Henry, who has one year left on his current deal with the Titans.
They also weren’t the only mock draft to have Harris coming off the board in the first round either. Walter Football’s latest mock has the Alabama running back going No. 27 overall to the Oakland Raiders. With the team likely losing Marshawn Lynch and Doug Martin to free agency, running back is a major need for the Raiders.