With the 75th pick in the NFL Draft, the Houston Texans have selected LB Christian Harris out of Alabama.
Harris is an intriguing athlete at the position. A safety in high school, Harris was forced into duty as an inside linebacker shortly after arriving on campus, thanks to an unfortunate rash of injuries at the position. While he showed plenty of flashes, there were some understandable growing pains as savvy offensive coordinators took advantage of the freshman’s lack of experience.
Harris came into his own in the past two seasons, playing a leading role on an Alabama defense that had to carry the 2021 team at times. He ran a 4.44 at the Combine, which is blazing fast for a 226 lb. linebacker. There are few questions about his athleticism in general, as the former defensive back has plus flexibility and hips at the position.
The questions surrounding Harris pertain to his instinctiveness, and to be sure he was found out of position at times in college. Still, thanks to college rules that allow for a slew of RPOS with the offensive line allowed three yards downfield, reading and reacting can actually be simpler in the NFL. If Harris is able to develop the mental side of the game a bit, the sky is the limit for him and he can become the next great linebacker from Alabama.
If nothing else, like most players from Saban’s program, he will bring some maturity and on field leadership both on the practice field and on Sundays.