When you look up information on Wagner’s football team — specifically in search of stats, you’ll find a lot of “no statistics available”. Somewhere amidst the holes in the game log, however, the Oakland Raiders found a guy they figured was worthy of a contract: Najee Harris.
Unfortunately for Harris, he isn’t even the most famous ‘Najee Harris’ — or even the most famous football playing Najee Harris (that honor goes to Alabama’s version). But hey, for a team in need of a linebacker, maybe they’d prefer Wagner’s version.
A fifth-year grad student, Harris performed well enough at Oakland’s rookie minicamp camp to earn himself a contract — and a chance of making an NFL roster. But will it all work out for him?
2016 — 44 tackles, 4.5 TFL, 1.0 Sack, 1 INT. 6 PD, 1 FR
2015 — 56 tackles, 10.0 TFL, 4.0 Sacks
2014 — 33 tackles, 3.0 TFL, 1 INT, 1 FR
2013 — 23 tackles
Always like to have the guy who was his team’s captain and someone that prompts his coach to say, “You couldn't find a better person than Najee, and no one has worked harder to make something like this happen.”
He does well dropping back into coverage. That combined 4.59 speed sounds like someone the Raiders could use in covering tight ends in the passing game. His versatility also helps (having played both inside and outside linebacker in college).
He has an aggressive playing style with a relentless motor which would show up regardless of level of competition.
At a school like Wagner, you’d like to see far more production from a fifth-year senior who didn’t miss a game. He saw a drop in production from his junior to senior year.
What he brings to the Raiders
He has an ideal playing style to thrive on special teams in the short term. As for his linebacker prospects, he comes with a whole lot of question marks. Obviously it’s a good sign that the coaches liked him enough to sign him to a contract, but with half the roster to be trimmed between now and the season, the road to an NFL game remains a long ways uphill.
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Editor’s note: Levi Damien contributed to this article.