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New Free Agency Winners and Losers

Justin Harrell DT 6'4 300 Tennessee 5.04

By: Robert Davis

Harrell started to produce as a sophomore, a season in which he had 26 tackles, 4.5 for loss, with 1.5 sacks. His numbers climbed to 39/7.5/2.5 and two interceptions as a junior, and he had the opportunity to leave for the draft. He decided to return to Tennessee, but in his second game, he ruptured his bicep and ended his final season with just 7 tackles, 1.5 for loss.

Harrell has all the talent to be a standout defensive tackle at the next level. He has solid size, is a good athlete, and is strong. He is an excellent run stopper, displaying the ability to hold his ground at the point attack and get off blocks to bring down the ball carrier. He also shows the burst to get through the line and has the speed and athleticism to get to the outside and run down the offensive player. You have to love Harrellís attitude as well. After rupturing his bicep against Air Force, he came out and played through the pain against Florida the following week.

Despite the talent, Harrell never really put it all together as a playmaker. He isnít a consistent performer at getting into the backfield and finishing plays off. The bicep will also have to be checked out, so that he can run entire workouts leading up to the draft, and that it will not be a lingering problem.

Harrell is a guy who could have been a first round pick with a big senior year, but it ended prematurely. There are a lot of questions after Okoye and Branch at the defensive tackle position, and Harrell has moved himself up and could potentially be the third tackle selected.


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