From now until the 2017 NFL Draft takes place, we hope to showcase as many prospects as possible and examine both their strengths and weaknesses. Most of these profiles will feature individuals that the Pittsburgh Steelers are likely to have an interest in, while a few others will be top-ranked players. If there is a player you would like us to analyze, let us know in the comments below.
Josh Harvey-Clemons/S Louisville – 6’4 217
– Great size and elite length (35 3/8) and big hands (10 3/8)
– Good athlete and a long strider to make up for lack of elite straight line speed, easy mover
– Reliable open field tackler who displays good technique and focus on wrapping up
– Shows physicality and power when able to come downhill to fill the alley in run support
– Closes quickly and uses size/length to drag down runners where other, smaller players wouldn’t be able to do so
– Embraces the run around the line of scrimmage, works off blocks and takes on FBs on lead plays
– Experience playing as a dime linebacker, single high, and two high looks, mix of man and zone
– Zone turn is fluid and takes good angles to the ball in coverage, uses length to contest at catch points
– Flashes ability to locate and attack the ball downfield
– Bigger hitter in coverage than he is against the run, flashes a violent streak
– Asked to blitz and used all over the field, could have relatively easy transition to the NFL
– Not an elite athlete and long speed is only average, lack of it can cause him to get beat to the edge by fast backs
– Could stand to be more physical in the run game
– Has to work on technique in man coverage and stay in phase, has tools but needs refined
– Bit stiff because of his size and struggles to make small adjustments in angles at last second when RB changes direction
– Tweener and doesn’t have a true, every-down position in the NFL
– Statistically minor production, didn’t make a lot of splash plays in career
– 34 career starts
– Career: 229 tackles, 4 INTs
– 2016: 61 tackles, 4 TFL, 2 sacks, 0 INT, 0 FF
– Transferred from Georgia after 2013 season, sat out 2014 due to NCAA rules
– Top prospect out of high school, ESPN’s #1 OLB in the country
If you like Obi Melifonwu or Jabrill Peppers but are turned off by the price tag, Josh Harvey-Clemons is your dude. He’s the big, long type like Melifonwu and one of his bigger concerns, like Peppers, is a lack of playmaking in college.
He’s not a big hitter against the run unless he’s able to get full steam ahead downhill but he’s a reliable, wrap-up tackler. That was evident even against college football’s best backs like Dalvin Cook. Wraps him up quickly and soundly.
Harvey-Clemons played all over the Cardinals’ defense so you got a feel for his skillset in every aspect. He isn’t an elite athlete but he’s a fluid player whose long strides allow him to cover a lot of ground. In 2015, a year where he picked off three passes, he’s able to locate and pick off this pass deep down the middle.
And here he is in a Cover 2 shell, with a fluid turn to the sideline and finishing the play by playing the pocket and knocking this pass away. Not a tremendous athlete but shows good technique to make up for it.
He’s played deep half, deep middle, box SS, and a true box linebacker, that last role the one I’d want him to do in Pittsburgh. Here’s an example of that.
I think he has the tools to be someone to cover the seam but in the five games I watched, he did have some trouble. Can’t stay in-phase here and ends up being called for pass interference against Jordan Leggett, a type of player he’s going to match up against in the NFL.
He’s a perfect mid-round selection who like Melifonwu, I’d envision as a hybrid safety who will play in the box on third downs and obvious passing situations. And the price tag is obviously much easier to stomach than a guy like Melifonwu (Melifonwu is obviously the better player) so the team can still get their edge/corner in the early rounds.
We’ve profiled most of the obvious hybrid types already: Melifonwu, Harvey-Clemons, and Nate Gerry. I’d have Harvey-Clemons in second place ahead of Gerry. Guy I’m rooting for to see in Pittsburgh.
Projection: Early-Mid Day Three (Late 4th-Mid 5th)
Games Watched: vs Auburn (2015), vs Syracuse, vs Florida State, at Marshall, at Clemson