Saints Scouting Report: Derrick Harvey

Each day leading up to the NFL Draft, Saintsinsider.com will break down a player that the New Orleans Saints may be interested in on draft day. Today it's Florida DE Derrick Harvey. Find out his vitals, his college statistics, what our Scout.com personnel guru Tom Marino thinks of him and Matthew Postins' thoughts on how Harvey could fit in with the Saints.

Derrick Harvey

POSITION: Defensive end.

MEASUREABLES: 6-foot-5, 271, 4.84 in the 40.

COLLEGE CAREER: Started all thirteen games at left defensive end, helping the Gators lead the league and rank tenth nationally in run defense (103.31 ypg). Recorded 49 tackles (31 solos), as he led the team and ranked tied for fifth in the SEC with 8.5 sacks for minus 63 yards. Paced the defense and placed fifth in the conference with 17 stops for losses of 89 yards, the tenth-best season total in school history

PROJECTED AS: A first round pick. Scout.com's Tom Marino considers Harvey the "safest pick" among defensive ends.

ARE THE SAINTS INTERESTED: If they're not, they should be, as their pass rush was anemic last season.

DRAFT VALUE: Most mock drafts have Harvey available at No. 10, but sliding to the middle of the first round.

SCOUT.COM'S TOM MARINO'S ANALYSIS: Smooth athletic player with excellent speed, get off quickness and impressive edge rush skills. Like his stride length, hand quicks, counter moves and close. Effectively worked down inside and got to the ball. Run down player who can drop his base and stack. Seldom on the ground and one the rare occasion that he was he bounced up quickly and got back into the play. Didn't see much I didn't like or can't be improved. The real deal. A slam-dunk first-round pick.

WHAT OTHER SERVICES ARE SAYING:

"Harvey might be too tall to shift to outside linebacker at the next level, but there is no question that he has the speed to play there. Despite his lanky frame, he is much more than just an edge rusher, evident by the fact that opponents were held to minus-28 yards on 47 running plays in his area last year. He needs to add more bulk to his frame, but 19.5 sacks and 30 stops for losses over his last two seasons vs. 300-plus pound offensive linemen are evidence that proves he has the power and avoidance skills to pressure the pocket on a consistent basis. Put him in a system like Dallas uses with Anthony Spencer and Greg Ellis and Harvey could develop into an Adalius Thomas-type who is best when allowed to roam the field. — NFLDraftscout.com

"Although Harvey, a junior, could have improved his skills a lot by returning to Florida but might not have improved his draft stock much. He will perform well in pre-draft workouts and be selected higher than he should be because of his athleticism and speed. Harvey, however, has a long way to go to maximize his talents. He is best suited to be a pass-rush specialist, but with added weight and greater intensity could become an NFL starter." — Sportingnews.com War Room.

MATTHEW POSTINS' BOTTOM LINE: Hmmm, differing opinions? That's sort of the rule these days when it comes to edge rushers, especially one like Harvey who projects as an end in a 4-3 or an outside linebacker in a 3-4. The Saints employ a 4-3 and I could see Harvey being a good fit there. He's quicker than most of the ends the Saints already have. Plus, there are his tackle for loss numbers, which to me say that Harvey is a player that can bust the offensive line consistently and diagnose run plays quickly. He doesn't appear to be just a one-note pass rusher, a good sign if you intend to take a pass rusher early. The Saints need help rushing the passer, and a player like Harvey can help. The long body, the elite speed and the good hands will allow him to earn time immediately as a third-down specialist, and as he gains weight and experience he'll gain starting time. It's no wonder that Tom Marino believes Harvey will be the best defensive end from this draft in five years. He's already talented and has a high enough ceiling to be a star. But the Saints will have to commit to taking him in the first round. He won't come back around to them in the second round.


You can read more of Matthew Postins' coverage of the New Orleans Saints at saintsinsider.com.


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