2017 NFL Draft Kansas City Chiefs Scouting Report: Connor Harris

Kansas City Chiefs draft prospect Connor Harris. Mandatory Credit: Glenn Andrews-USA TODAY Sports
Kansas City Chiefs draft prospect Connor Harris. Mandatory Credit: Glenn Andrews-USA TODAY Sports /

The Kansas City Chiefs appear to be in the market for an inside linebacker. Connor Harris of Lindenwood is a player getting some attention.

Over the past few months, inside linebacker has become a topic of conversation for Kansas City Chiefs pundits and fans. The Chiefs also appear to be considering this position as there have been several prospects getting interest from the team. A small school player with a lot of interest from draftniks right now is Connor Harris from Lindenwood.

What the Chiefs really need right now at inside linebacker is someone who can line up next to Derrick Johnson. That might not be what you expected to hear. The common narrative is that KC is looking for an heir to DJ. However, there are several young players already on the roster who have shown good potential at that spot.

In the Chiefs defense, Derrick Johnson takes on the playmaker role at inside linebacker. He is responsible for being the guy who makes the play. What the Chiefs need to find is a guy who puts in the dirty work of tying up blockers to allow DJ to make those plays. It was a piece that was sorely missing last year.

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The type of linebacker the Chiefs need is a downhill attacker who can play strong at the line of scrimmage. This guy needs to be able to stack and shed offensive linemen, or to at least prevent them from opening a hole. In many regards, this position is like an additional defensive lineman.

Connor Harris – ILB – Lindenwood

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If you haven’t heard of Connor Harris, nobody will blame you. However, the small school standout is currently credited as holding the NCAA record for career tackles. An interesting side note to that is he took over that title from former Chiefs linebacker Boomer Grigsby. Holding a record doesn’t tell everything, but it’s never a bad thing to have.

Connor Harris is a relentless attacker on defense. Constantly moving downhill to take the fight to the line of scrimmage. Heady player who diagnoses well at the snap. Impressive quickness in space with start/stop ability. Noted work ethic as he’s been called a “film junkie” and a “gym rat”. Unquestionable love for football.

The negatives on Connor Harris are the same reasons why he only had one FBS scholarship offer (Kansas). He lacks the size teams want in a linebacker, and has very short arms. Can struggle to disengage from blockers if they latch on. Will become one-directional and suspect to misdirection. May not have NFL strength or speed.

One thing that I find interesting about Connor Harris is that his positives make him ideal for what the Chiefs need, while his negatives are less important to the position. He has the right mental makeup and play style for the position. Harris needs the right situation to succeed in, and Kansas City may offer it.

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If the Kansas City Chiefs want a linebacker to put next to Derrick Johnson, then Connor Harris might be the perfect option. He should be available in the later rounds, and I see very little standing in the way of an NFL learning curve. Some guys are just perfect for a certain position, and I think Harris has that going for him.