According to Bill Huber at Packer Report, South Dakota State wide receiver JaRon Harris worked out for the Colts last week. In his four seasons with the Jackrabbits, he caught 145 passes for 2,144 yards and 23 touchdowns.
Harris is currently not ranked among the 37 possible prospects at the position according to the Scout.com draft rankings and is not ranked among the 356 prospects overall, so he is facing long odds to even be drafted.
WR JaRon Harris
AP Photo/Eric Landwehr
However, Pierre Garcon was not ranked very high coming into the 2008 draft — due to his lack of Division I FBS experience and lack of huge physical dimensions for the position — and Indianapolis still selected him in the sixth round.
Garcon was far more productive at the collegiate level, dominating the competition he faced and drawing several favorable comparisons to Jerry Rice.
Speaking of Rice, he is Harris' second cousin and Harris' father, Ron Harris, was drafted by the Vikings and played in the CFL for four seasons. That kind of NFL pedigree certainly means something in the eyes of NFL scouts and general managers, which should lead to Harris getting some attention on the draft's second day. And, if he is not drafted, some team will sign him as a free agent with the idea that the apple does not fall far from the tree.
All that having been said, Harris is certainly not just a stiff with some accomplished relatives. He averaged 14.8 yards per reception in college and caught a touchdown every seventh time he touched the ball. Although that was at the Division I FCS level, those are impressive statistics against anyone.
He also ran a 4.35 40 at South Dakota State's Pro Day, which shows that he has the necessary speed to back up his numbers.
A number of dissenters will no doubt point to the fact that he didn't face any Division I BCS teams during his collegiate career. "It's still Division I, you know?" Harris told Huber. "That's what I'd say, even though it was I-AA (Football Championship Subdivision). I think it was pretty good competition."
They'll also mention that he ran that impressive 40-yard dash on fast turf. But, the turf in Lucas Oil Stadium isn't exactly slow. And Harris has already been there, showing the Indianapolis staff what he could.
"They were saying I fit in with their program pretty well," Harris said of his visit to Indianapolis. "They have some young guys at receiver and some veterans guys that could lead us. It seemed like they were pretty interested, and if I didn't get drafted, free agency is a good possibility for them."
Indeed, the Colts do have a good mix of young guys and veterans, but, with the release of Marvin Harrison, are considerably younger at the receiver position than they have been in quite some time. They need an infusion of young talent very badly and will most likely address that need early in the draft. With their pressing need, though, they certainly would not pass on the opportunity to sign Harris should he find himself available after the draft.
Bill Polian and his staff have done an exceptional job of identifying fringe prospects and signing those players very quickly after Mr. Irrelevant has come off the board.
The fact that they met with Harris shows that the Colts are serious about him. Look for him to get a call and sign with the Colts shortly after the draft concludes.
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