The Bears signed the six-foot-3, 210-pound receiver to a futures contract at the conclusion of the regular season. The two-year starter at Texas Christian posted 32 receptions for 595 yards and 4 touchdowns as a senior. He set a school record for receiving yards as a junior, when he caught 58 balls for 1,012 yards with two scores.
In the big picture, either Mark Bradley or Bernard Berrian will join Muhsin Muhammad in the starting lineup. Justin Gage, Airese Currie and Rashied Davis are the favorites among a group competing for playing time as the fourth and possibly fifth receiver on the depth chart.
With Gage and Currie both watching with minor injuries, Harrell has taken advantage of the extra reps. He's made a variety of tough grabs during mini-camp and organized team activities.
However, there's an old adage that applies this time of year. Athletes can look great in shorts, but it takes a football player to show up when the pads are on. Meaning, can Harrell be the same player when an opposing defensive back drills him over the middle?
One element is clear, special teams will play a key role in who makes the team. For Harrell to have any kind of chance of sticking around, he'll have to prove he can be a factor on kick and punt coverage.
Although Harrell remains a long shot to be on the 53-man squad when the season starts, Chicago's lack of experience at the wideout gives him an opportunity to break into the league.
Here's the TFY Draft preview scouting report on Harrell coming out of TCU.
Positives: Nice sized possession receiver who wins out in battles. Strong, physically defeats opponents and comes away with the difficult reception in a crowd. Works his routes, adjusts to the errant throw and gets down to scoop up the low pass. Offers an opposing target in the middle of the field. Alert, on the same page as his quarterback and comes back to the ball. Extends to look the pass into his hands.
Negatives: More of a long strider who lacks the quick explosive burst of speed. Does not possess soft hands and does a lot of double catching or will drop the easy pass on occasion. Gathers into breaks and displays choppy footwork running routes.
Analysis: A pass catcher with excellent size and strength, Harrell could make it as a fourth receiver used during third down situations or in the red zone. Must display better consistency catching the ball during summer camp to make an NFL roster.