Harris headed to Chicago

A few draft surprises put the Bears in the enviable position of being able to choose from the top four defensive linemen in the draft. In the end GM Jerry Angelo and Head Coach Lovie Smith decided Tommie Harris is man to improve the front-four.

Three defenders went in the first 13 picks, but shockingly no defensive linemen where off the board when the Bears had their choice of defensive tackles Tommie Harris - Oklahoma, Vince WilforkMiami, Will Smith – defensive ends Ohio State and Kenechi UdezeUSC.

Harris immediately improves the interior of the Bears d-line and at the least compete for a starting role with veterans Bryan Robinson and Alfonso Boone.

At 6-2.5 and 295 pounds, Harris is the prototypical tackle in Smith's speed emphasized defense.

Harris decided to enter the draft as a junior despite not having huge numbers. Still the nation knows what kind of player Harris is as he won the 2003 Lombardi Award, given annually to college football's best lineman. With a dominant defense built around him, Harris finished the campaign with 37 tackles, 10 for loss and had five sacks. The scheme Harris played in impacted his numbers.

"We rotated in and out each series, so that could be a problem with my numbers," Harris said. "But when I was in there I gave it all I got and I gave my best effort to help my team."

There is no questioning Harris' effort. He's considered a high motor player that consistently had to deal with double-teams. He ran a low 4.7 forty time and completed 29 reps at 225 pounds, but said six additional reps were taken away from him because his elbows didn't lock up.

Growing up in a military background has given Harris the discipline necessary to handle the pressure of being a top pick. While Harris doesn't lack confidence in his ability, he's has joked about not being worthy of the hype.

"Maybe a Pro bowl or hall of fame, then I'll tell you if I'm good or not," Harris said. "I'm moving on to the next level and we'll see how good things get up there."

Harris expected go in the top ten, but yielded a word of warning upon being selected by the Bears.

"Watch out for number 97," Harris said.

The only problem is that Michael Haynes owns that jersey.

Stay tuned to Bear Report for reaction from Halas Hall.


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