For the second time in Day 2 of the 2019 NFL Draft, the Lions have bolstered the defensive side of the ball with the selection of defensive back Will Harris out of Boston College. The Lions moved up seven spots to take Harris, giving up one of their sixth-round picks (204 overall) to do so.
Harris (6-1, 207) played all over the field at Boston College as both a free safety and in the box. His athletic traits are off the charts, running the 40-yard dash in 4.41 seconds at the Combine with a vertical of 36.5.
He was a four-year starter at Boston College, and one of the defense’s key leaders.
“I’m ready to rock,” Harris said in a conference call Friday night. “There was no one-set scheme that was necessarily my fit that I was looking for. With that said, it worked out perfectly with Detroit picking me. That worked out perfectly being reunited with coach P (Lions defensive coordinator Paul Pasqualoni). I’m excited about this scheme. It should be a lot of fun.”
Harris started all 12 games as a senior, making 75 tackles and intercepting one pass. He has the size and speed to match up with pass-catching tight ends, and should be a staple on special teams early on. He’s a hard hitting defender with speed, which could fit nicely into a multiple scheme like the one the Lions run.
“Three-year starter, team captain, versatile guy, playing strength, speed,” Lions general manager Bob Quinn said of Harris as a prospect.
Quinn thought Harris was one of the better players at the Senior Bowl in both the practice and game settings. Quinn was also impressed when he visited Boston College and the staff there raved about Harris.
Quinn said the staff at Boston College described Harris as the heartbeat of their defense. Those are the kind of players he’s trying to add to Detroit’s roster.
The Lions look to have terrific depth and versatility in the backend of their defense with Quandre Diggs, Tracy Walker, Andrew Adams, Tavon Wilson and now Harris.