Zach Harrison Draft Profile – 2023 NFL Draft
Zach Harrison NFL Draft Scouting Report Introduction
Zach Harrison was a 5 star recruit from Olentangy Orange High School and decided to join the Ohio State Buckeyes.
During his first year with the Buckeyes in 2019, Harrison was given the opportunity to showcase his skills in 14 games and played for a total of 281 snaps. In that season, he recorded 13 tackles, 6 assists, and 14 stops, while also contributing 7 total pressures as a pass rusher. This included 3 QB hurries and 4 sacks, but no QB hits.
As a sophomore in 2020, Harrison played in 7 games and participated in 218 snaps for the Buckeyes. During this season, he recorded 9 tackles, 2 assists, and 9 stops. He also continued to excel as a pass rusher with a total of 22 pressures, including 19 QB hurries, 1 QB hit, and 2 sacks.
In 2021, as a junior, Harrison played in 12 games and was a valuable contributor on 558 snaps. During this season, he recorded 28 tackles, 2 assists, and 27 stops, but did not have any interceptions or pass break ups while in coverage. He did, however, maintain a QB rating of 129.2 when targeted. He produced 28 total pressures as a pass rusher, including 20 QB hurries, 4 QB hits, and 4 sacks.
During his senior year in 2022, Harrison continued to play an important role for the Buckeyes. He participated in 12 games and played for a total of 435 snaps. In this season, he recorded 17 tackles, 7 assists, and 19 stops, while also accumulating 31 total pressures as a pass rusher. This included 23 QB hurries, 3 QB hits, and a respectable 5 sacks for the year.
Zach Harrison Draft Profile
Harrison boasts an impressive combination of size, length, and explosiveness that make him a valuable asset to any team. His length, in particular, is a standout quality as he is adept at using it to his advantage and maintaining separation from opposing players. This allows him to keep his hands active and create advantageous angles to power through. Additionally, Harrison has developed the ability to string together rush moves and execute counters, which can be highly effective.
Even if he doesn’t manage to get to the quarterback, Harrison’s presence on the field is often enough to affect the outcome of the game. He is able to get his hands into throwing lanes and has an incredible tackle radius, which he effectively uses to strip the ball away from the quarterback. Though he may not be the most flexible player, Harrison has shown the ability to corner offensive tackles and create a successful rush angle with his hand counters and length.
While Harrison’s block recognition skills are good, there is room for improvement in his snap-anticipation and overall response times. He can also struggle with stiffness in his upper and lower body, making it difficult for him to consistently play with leverage and change directions. Furthermore, Harrison often gets too far up the field, creating openings for the quarterback to escape.
Despite these areas for improvement, Harrison’s physical abilities and effort level are highly promising. He has the potential to be a key contributor in a quality NFL defensive line rotation and could potentially develop into an impact starter.
Zach Harrison 40 yard dash- 4.48 SECONDS
Zach Harrison NFL Draft Player Comparison- Montez Sweat
Scouting Report- Strengths
Zach Harrison is an exceptional player who possesses the ability to accurately anticipate snaps and time his moves to beat blockers on the edge. He boasts incredible athletic skills, running an impressive 4.5 at a weight of 271lbs, making it easy for him to overwhelm opponents and fly past larger tackles in the blink of an eye.
Harrison has a solidly built frame, with good upper body strength and a tenacious spirit that drives him to work hard to get to the ball. He plays with tremendous speed and good initial quickness, allowing him to create havoc in the backfield and close gaps efficiently. He has the classic frame with long arms, which give him some explosion, power, and the ability to close, all desirable qualities in a top-performing player.
Harrison looks the part of a star player, with his long and athletic build, which still has room for additional muscle mass. He demonstrates a quick burst off the snap, which enables him to cross the face of collegiate tackles and make significant plays behind the line of scrimmage. He also has strong hands and quickness, allowing him to challenge opponents inside and execute successful run-and-chase maneuvers that leave a mark.
This player is incredibly fast in a straight line, and his excellent bull rushes are often unstoppable when he is the first off the snap. In summary, Zach Harrison is a skilled and athletic player with many desirable traits that make him a promising prospect in the world of football. Even when he is lined up over the ball, he makes up for it with his impressive length, persistent effort, and remarkable short-area quickness. These qualities allow him to apply pressure to double teams and penetrate gaps with ease.
Scouting Report- Weaknesses
One area for improvement is that he often plays tall and gets upright off the snap, which can hinder his performance. While he does have strong upper-body strength, he needs to focus on maintaining leverage to optimize his abilities on the field.
Despite this, Harrison does stand up well against the run and is highly aware of where the ball is, which allows him to take advantage of opportunities as they arise. However, he can be overly conscious of pursuit and may take unnecessarily wide angles, which could hinder his progress.
While Harrison is undoubtedly an exceptional straight-line athlete, he has some issues when it comes to changing direction and is somewhat stiffer than fluid overall. Nonetheless, he still boasts many desirable qualities that make him a highly promising player with the potential to succeed at the highest levels of the sport.
Zach Harrison Draft Summary
Ohio State has produced NFL best edge rushers like Nick Bosa, Joey Bosa and Chase Young. Some scouts have compared Zach Harrison to these stars in terms of pure athleticism. While Harrison certainly stands up to them athletically, he is still quite raw and lacks the level of polish that they possess.
Despite his incredible natural abilities, Harrison has yet to fully hone his skills and develop into a more refined player. He still has a lot to learn and work on, which is not unusual for a player with his level of raw talent. Nonetheless, his athleticism alone makes him an exciting prospect for the future, and it’s clear that he has the potential to be one of the best pass rushers in the game with the right training and guidance.
We have him ranked as our 36th ranked prospect overall on our 2023 NFL Draft big board.
- Combination of incredible size and athleticism
- Could add even more mass to his frame
- Quick burst and solid hands
- Plays tight
- Lacked premier production on the field at Ohio State
- Inconsistent play, flashes but not dependable play