Prospect Profile: Another Big-Play Receiver

The Colts had a formal interview with a talented receiver at the Combine in February that reminds Brad Keller of Marvin Harrison. Is he the heir apparent in the post-Harrison era?

Louisville wide receiver Harry Douglas experienced tremendous production his past two seasons at Louisville.

He burst onto the scene as a junior with 70 receptions for a school record 1,265 yards (18.1 yard average), despite starting only seven of the games in which he appeared.

He followed that up with a 71-catch, 1,159-yard season (16.3 average) as a senior in 2007, despite missing two games with an ankle injury that hampered his ability to play at full speed when he returned early. 

While there are some that have concerns over his size — at 5 feet, 11 inches, he's very light, even for a receiver at 176 pounds — and his ability to hold up and stay healthy at the NFL level.

Exhibit A for the Colts in this scenario, however, is Marvin Harrison, who tips the scales at 185 pounds at 6 feet even and has had some success in the league.

Louisville's Harry Douglas
AP Photo/Garry Jones

There are those that argue his lofty statistics are a result of the system that he played in at Louisville.  But, there was a transition in coordinators and systems that changed the offense in 2007, and Douglas posted practically identical numbers in 2006 and 2007.

Douglas is a talented player with rare top-end speed, as well as quickness, that runs excellent routes and gets in and out of his breaks very quickly.

He is smart, tough, and competitive.  He is also dangerous with the ball in his hands in the open field, shows good vision, and knows how to make the defense pay if they give him a seam.  And, obviously, his gaudy numbers speak for themselves.

One other knock on Douglas, though, is that he dropped too many balls in traffic, didn't appear to fight for contested passes enough, and may have a tendency to short arm passes thrown in his direction when the safeties get bigger, faster, and more tenacious.

While this does appear to be true on film, he would be heading to a team in Indianapolis that has two "undersized" gentlemen on the roster that have had a great deal of success going over the middle, despite their physical shortcomings.

Dallas Clark has become fearless between the hashmarks over the course of his career and seems to have taken the ability to take a licking and keep on ticking.

Marvin Harrison has been lauded for his toughness as well, but he also knows that, as a smaller man in a big man's game, he often needs to secure the ball, hit the deck, and live to play another day.

Harrison has made his ability to catch the ball while sliding and avoiding a spearing defender into a subtle art, and he is the best in the league at his craft.

Under the guidance of these two men, Douglas should be able to get past any trepidation he experiences while crossing the middle of the field and refine his skills to make his toughness — after all, he did play hurt for a good deal of his senior year — work for him in those situations.

The biggest question for Indianapolis, though, might be where they should select him.

He is currently rated as the 8th-best receiver prospect by and is projected to come off the board in the late second or early third round.

The Colts should only pull the trigger if he is the best athlete available according to their rankings, as they have a number of other pressing needs that could be filled with their first selection at 59th overall.

But, those same projections have three receivers being taken in the first round, which is looking less and less likely as we get closer to draft day.

That means that, unless there is a run on receivers in the second round, Douglas would slide into Round 3.

If he is still available in the middle of that round, it would be fairly easy for the Colts to trade up and get their man.

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