NFL Draft 2011: Raiders LB Search—Mario Harvey Edition

COLUMBUS OH - SEPTEMBER 2: Terrelle Pryor #2 of the Ohio State Buckeyes stiff arms Mario Harvey #30 of the Marshall Thundering Herd at Ohio Stadium on September 2 2010 in Columbus Ohio. (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)

We are deep, deep, deep into the 2011 NFL Draft now. We are so deep, we might actually be right out of it. DopeRaider is digging us up some possible late-round/UDFA gems. And now, we are Marshal. Or at least the guy we are about to talk about is. Mario Harvey was an amazingly productive linebacker. He has experience at all linebacking positions. He finished his career with an exquisitely round 420 tackles. His senior year he had 17.5 tackles for loss 8.5 sacks and three forced fumbles. Yet he wasn't invited to the scouting combine.

Harvey lacks typical linebacker height at 5'10", but he brings typical linebacker weight at 250 pounds, and he can move that 250. At his Pro Day Harvey ran a 4.42 and 4.46 40, had a 32" vert, a 9'5" broad jump and put up 27 reps on the bench.

It is hard to imagine that Harvey will go undrafted now. If nothing else he could make a real impact on special teams. Jump over for a few scouting reports....

Gil Brandt of NFL.com:

Harvey is an aggressive, energetic, play-making defender—some NFL team will take a chance on him for his special-teams promise and potential on defense.

National Football Post:

Blocks at the point and work his way toward the football. Isn't a real gifted or physical athlete in the run game. However, consistently is able to put himself around the football and tackle the ball carrier. Exhibits good instincts when asked to pick his way down the line, fill run lanes and diagnose the play. Will see his angles outrun and is tight hipped trying to quickly redirect and get out of his breaks. Lacks ideal power at the point of attack as well and initially can be driven off the football. But does a nice job playing with leverage, extending his arms in order to shed and can fend off a block and wrap up on the ball carrier running off his frame. Nevertheless, most of his tackles come about 5 yards-plus down the field.

His athletic skill set doesn't bode well for his chances of holding up in man in the NFL. Is much better suited to play zone, where he gets only decent depth in his drop, but keeps his feet under him, reads his pass keys quickly and can close on the football. Is a physical striker when asked to disengage the ball from man, but possesses only average range in space.

Impression: A tough overachiever who isn't worth a draft pick, but knows how to tackle, has good instincts and has been really productive as a senior. His size/speed numbers hurt his chances, but will get a shot in an NFL training camp to make a team on special teams and as a fifth linebacker.

I feel safe in saying this was written before he blew people away at his Pro Day, but it does give us a clue that he doesn't seem to play at the speeds he is capable of reaching. This is something our next scouts agree with.

SidelineScouting.com

Is an excellent run stuffer, looks like a first and second down WLB in the NFL... Does a good job scraping through traffic, does not get bottled up behind the line, has pretty good vision when moving laterally... Is surprisingly agile in the backpedal when dropping into coverage... Is an extremely hard worker and coachable player.

Negatives: Is a little short for the inside linebacker position... Ran well during pro day but looks slower in pads, does not appear to be very fast in short bursts or especially quick, could possibly benefit from losing some bulk to increase speed... Looks a little stiff, flexibility and change-of-direction abilities are below average... Does not look great in coverage, has limited range... Can be overaggressive when taking on blockers and takes himself out of plays on occasion... Does not fit very well in a cover two system because of height and lack of elite coverage skills.

Take a look at his tape below in a game against Ohio State in 2010 and see what you think.

I see a player that gets sealed off to easily. He seems to over run his lanes, and this has been a big part of the reason why the Raiders have given up so many big runs. I also see a guy that has some explosive potential if he refines his game, and in the meantime I would not want to try and field a punt while he was bearing down on me.

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