NAME: Kelvin Harmon
SCHOOL: North Carolina State
POSITION: Wide Receiver
JERSEY: No. 3
RECRUITMENT RATING: 3-star
WT: 213 lbs
Routes – Strong vertical push out of his release opens things up underneath. Good ability to sink his hips and change directions smoothly for his size. Wins with physicality in the contact window to create leverage. Does well to attack coverage with good timing to find space. Only modest ability to sell his route breaks. Runs every route with great effort, even if the ball isn’t coming his way.
Hands – Strong hands to pluck and squeeze the football tightly away from his frame. Performs well in contested situations and regularly holds on through contact. Rarely double catches or allows the football to come into his frame.
Ball Skills – Picks up the ball early in its flight path and knows how to adjust to its trajectory. Attacks the football with an alpha mentality and positions his frame to win at the catch point. Capable of making late adjustments to the football and extending in any direction. His ability to track and adjust the football is outstanding and he is apt at showing late hands to not tip the balls arrival. Harmon does well to establish his frame at the catch point and has a knack for making catches that require high levels of concentration and contortion of his frame to secure it.
YAC Ability – Hasn’t been overly productive after the catch and is victimized by playing with a slow-triggered QB in college. Physical and decisive with ball in his hands. Modest wiggle and elusive traits to create for himself but accelerates smoothly for his size.
Release – Fluid out of his stance into his stem but isn’t the most sudden. Has a variety of jab steps that allow him to beat press coverage. Active hands and dominant play strength in the contact window never allows him to get stuck on contact.
Play Speed – Showcases good play speed but isn’t a threat to regularly get behind the secondary. Has a notable second gear to the football at the top of his routes. Does well to alter his speed and work tempo as a route runner. Has some build up speed but he’s a fluid mover that can work away from coverage at his top gear. Has a sound vertical receiving skill set despite not necessarily being a burner.
Blocking – Dominant. Prides himself in getting his work done. Knows how to square up, punch, leverage his hips and secure his base to sustain blocks. Actively seeks work and creates space for his teammates. Always follows the ball and looks to block down the field.
Play Strength – Has dominant play strength that he showcases as a runner, blocker, in the contact window and at the catch point. Plays a physical style of football and assertively challenges his opponents. Not may corners can match his power.
Versatility – Has the ability to attack any level of the filed as a boundary receiver. Provides tremendous value as a blocker. Has never been involved in the return game or given the chance to run the football in his college career. Offers upside in any passing offense.
BEST TRAIT – Play Strength
WORST TRAIT – YAC Ability
RED FLAGS – None
Logging back-to-back 1,000-yard receiving seasons, Harmon has been one of the ACC’s most productive receivers over the last two seasons. He is a true alpha with dominant play strength. His burst and play speed for his size is underrated. His blend of size, physicality, ball skills and fluidity make him and ideal fit as an x-receiver in any scheme. By year three, Harmon has the upside to be relied upon as a true No. 1 receiver that keeps the chains moving, hits big plays and thrives in the redzone.
Separation Quickness – Some natural limitations in the vertical portion of the field due to lack of elite athleticism. Despite not being the most explosive receiver, makes hard, decisive cuts with excellent timing and footwork to maximize separation abilities. Will probably always struggle to separate compared to the elites in this category, but still has enough athleticism and technique to create space needed.
Ball Skills – Contested catches? Check. Back-shoulder/tough adjustment throws outside his frame? Check. Box-out catches with a defender closing over his back? Check. He’ll body catch all game and then snag one outside his frame perfectly, so I’m not worried about it. Tracks the ball over his head and makes catches down the field despite contact. Quick reactions to snatch the ball as soon as he gets his head around. Wish he high-pointed a little more consistently, has a tendency to leap and bread-basket catch at times.
Speed/Burst – Not the most explosive receiver. Runs hard and varies his pace enough to maximize his traits in this area, but rarely separates vertically on his own. Won’t run by many corners and often has to deal with defenders in his grill in the deep portions of the field. Takes a few strides to reach top speed, running in the 4.5s will be a win.
Route-Running – Attention to detail is superb. Knows how to push vertically against off coverage to force corners to open, then breaks off patterns sharply underneath. Back-to-the-ball patterns are crisp and works back to the ball at the catch point to finish as needed. Hips and feet are deceptive in his patterns, fully sells fakes, then snaps route off in opposite direction to create separation. Full speed cuts on quick outs against off coverage. Deciphers zone coverage beautifully and knows how to find space.
Contested Catch – Mentioned this one in the Ball Skills section, but Harmon is a contested catch monster with terrific body control and exceptional hands. Can finish through contact as well as any receiver in the class and has a good enough vertical to compete above the rim. Will need to high-point over longer defensive backs more consistently in the NFL, but is so good at using his frame to box out defenders that he’ll find ways to win anyway. Unbothered by contact and will take a hit at the catch point and hang on.
YAC – Not given a lot of manufactured touches or ways to show off his skills in this area, but even when he is, Harmon is largely unimpressive. He’s strong enough to run through weak tackles and fall forward through good ones, but he’s not overly elusive in space nor a dynamic playmaker in the open field. Lacks the breakaway speed to be a “any touch could be the one” type of player.
Releases – Excellent at getting off the line of scrimmage against press coverage. Detailed and violent use of hands to counter jams and knock cornerbacks off balance. Good luck locking him up physically. Dips his shoulder to get under punches and continue his progress upfield. Intense and physical in his demeanor to create early separation. Footwork is quick and deadly as well, showing the ability to use a couple of different releases to work off press, including stutter and stretch. Consistently sells vertically against off coverage, accelerating with low pads and forcing corners to open early.
Blocking – Outstanding blocker. Consistently strong effort and technique. Enters blocks under control, gets his hands inside and stays fitted. Grip strength is elite. Controls blockers without being reckless and getting over-extended. Could stand to move his feet a little more to mirror and avoid holding calls.
Competitive Toughness – Better be ready for four quarters with Harmon. He’s big and he knows it. Bully-ball wide receiver who can punish defensive backs physically without being reckless or egregious about it. Love his play demeanor.
Athleticism/Size – Elite size and muscle distribution for a receiver. Strength and length are pro-ready. 40 will be a big question mark leading up to the Combine, but play speed is solid and doesn’t seem to have significant athletic concerns in any area despite an expectation that he will test good, not great.
BEST TRAIT – Ball Skills
WORST TRAIT – Speed/Burst
RED FLAGS – None
I entered Harmon’s tape with concerns about his long speed and overall athleticism, and while they weren’t totally alleviated, I have a hard time envisioning a scenario where he’s not at least a good starting wide receiver in the NFL. A polished product with great routes and exceptional ball skills, Harmon can dominate the middle of the field with his box-out ability and strong hands, while still winning vertically thanks to his contested catch ability and subtle physicality down the field.
He’s not slow, but his 40 will be one to watch. The ceiling might not be sky-high with Harmon, and that’s ok. What he does well will translate to the NFL, and he has the ability to contribute early thanks to his smarts as a route runner and his elite blocking skills. Top 50 lock, and a strong Round 1 candidate.
Route Running –Big, physical receiver who can beat up press coverage at the LOS. Doesn’t have a great amount of push vs. off coverage but efficient steps and awareness in break angles help maximize separation when breaking off his stem into the MOF or back to the LOS.
Hands –Wonderful hands. Habitual pluck at the ball, doesn’t wait on the throw to get into his body and as a result has strong results in contested situations. Secure in his transitions away from the frame to a tucked position.
Contested Catch Ability –Sideline and back shoulder extraordinaire. Shows wonderful body control and spacing to maximize his throwing windows before aggressively adjusting to the football and out-muscling defensive backs for positioning and the football.
Run After Catch Ability –Strength and body adjustments can create some missed challenges after the catch. Doesn’t have game breaking speed but does illustrate good field vision after turning up the field. Active usage of his free arm will provide opportunities to force missed tackles.
Football IQ –Knows how to navigate the boundary with the best of them. Consistently plucks the ball on the sideline with a leaping catch and will slam down both feet. Fairly diverse in his route tree and has shown an understanding of how to uncover when plays get off schedule.
Vertical Receiving –One of those oddball receivers that doesn’t have great speed but still seems to stack defenders vertically anyway. Offers good ball tracking skills over his shoulder and is a sure handed receiver catching the football in the honey hole vs. Cover 2.
Change of Direction Skills –Isn’t exactly springy in his cuts or lateral movement, but doesn’t waste energy and has a smoothness to his game. As a result can slide past defenders in off coverage or subtly step aside of a tackler in the secondary and create added yardage after the catch.
Speed –Has build-up speed, isn’t going to overtake coverage at the LOS with his get off. As a result will need to break contact for consistency with big plays after the catch. Disciplined, long corners may give him a challenge until he further expands his physicality on route stems.
Competitive Toughness –Highly competitive when the ball is in the air. Is a player who can be relied upon to turn into a defender on contested throws if ball is off target but is ultimately still open when he’s covered in man coverage. Strong effort as a blocker in the ground game.
Blocking Ability –Big, long, strong. Needs to improve his angles when stalk blocking off of the line of scrimmage and aiming for a far target. Strong hands latch onto defensive back and tempers defenders’ pace to the football. Slides his feet well and leverages well with his hands.
BEST TRAIT – Contested Catch Ability
WORST TRAIT – Speed
BEST FILM – Syracuse (2018)
WORST FILM – Clemson (2018)
RED FLAGS – None
Kelvin Harmon projects favorably as a prototypical X-receiver at the NFL level. He can defeat press coverage with his size and strength. Harmon’s catch radius and contested abilities will lend themselves useful on the boundary and in the red zone. Harmon may not have dynamic, explosive speed, but he is terrific in traffic and he will present challenges with how well he addresses and extends for the football with his hands.
Hands – Really strong hands with a pleasant degree of softness. Illustrates the ability to go get the football from all angles, especially when working downfield in one-on-one situations. Strong when working back to the QB or across the formation to use large frame and body catches to protect the football. Prefers to basket catch downfield instead of turning his hips and leaping, but has the ability to high-point when the situation demands it.
Route Running – Has a really strong hip sink and vertical stem that allow him to eat in a vertical third. Can snap off comebacks and curls with a hard break and works back to the football to retain leverage against closing corners. Can transition seamlessly off of strong vertical push to attack leverage and turn corners’ hips, which gives him the angle to stack down the field. Has good foot fire at the top of his breaks to generate quick separation, but lacks ideal short-area quickness and has to labor through sharp cuts.
Releases – One of the best in the class, if not the best, against press coverage. Regularly instigates the contact by striking with his hands and putting the cornerback on his heels immediately; understands how to get the corner to open/react one way so that he can flip him the other way. Recruits his elbows and shoulders through the contact window to fight through contact and clear hands to stack upfield. Doesn’t waste time with fancy footwork and uses jab steps and rocker steps with intention and success.
Tracking – Finds the football first almost without fail. Especially when working downfield, establishes the right leverage immediately but has box-out physicality to work into new positions by adjusting to the football’s flight path. Has the flexibility and size to get to inaccurate balls with late adjustments, and flashes late hands to disguise the arrival of the football. Will be a bit late at times finding the football when working across the middle of the field.
Catch Radius – NFL-caliber catch radius who shines in back-shoulder situations. Has a great sense of timing to snag the football just as it arrives, at the maximum reach of his considerable length. Shows the ability to go down and dig low footballs off the dirt and flip his hips to get into balls behind him on crossing patterns. Will limit his own catch radius at times with his hesitancy to elevate, but this hasn’t been much of a problem for him in college.
RAC – Not a RAC machine and doesn’t fill a role that lends itself to production there. Willing to initiate contact and challenger smaller tacklers with a stiff arm or low pads, but does not illustrate any elusive traits or angle-breaking burst/speed. Has some good vision to get across flow on his short-field catches, but physical limitations show up again here. Long strides can be a benefit when taking deep balls to the house.
Physicality – A wonderfully angry son of a gun. Brings bad intentions to every onset of contact on the field, whether as a blocker, runner, or route runner. Will pick on smaller defensive backs by forcing them to play a more physical brand of football than they’d like to; initiates contact on plays in which he doesn’t even have a role, just to be a punisher.
Blocking – Exactly what you want to see from a WR of his size; the demeanor is just cherries. Maximizes height, length, and weight to seal off defenders in the second level, and was responsible for springing multiple running backs and WR screens for big gains. Angles at time can be too over-ambitious, which allow for quicker DBs to knife underneath and get involved.
Functional Athleticism – Not an elite athlete, but checks all of the boxes. Will be limited by his size when it comes to change of direction; is more smooth than he is sudden, and will never be an elite separator against quicker man coverage corners. Has good linear burst off the line, but seems to lose some of that gas with the ball in his hands. Build-up speed is enough to take deep balls to the house or work underneath deep bombs.
BEST TRAIT – Physicality
WORST TRAIT – RAC Ability
RED FLAGS – None
PLAYER COMPARISON – Alshon Jeffery
Polished in every sense of the word, Kelvin Harmon is worthy of an immediate role as the focal point of a passing offense. Harmon’s ball-tracking, physicality, and downfield stacking are all among the best in this class, and immediately make him a threat in the vertical third. Given his excellent work breaking off from press coverage, Harmon is a true X-receiver who can handle the opposition’s best corner on a weekly basis.
As it stands, Harmon lacks dynamic elusive or explosive traits, and will need a quarterback willing to uncover him with back-shoulder and trust balls — both throws that Harmon wins with regularity. That said, he should be complemented by players with better RAC ability, who can work the underneath areas and win on gadget plays; he can handle the rest. While his athletic testing may scare people off from a Round 1 grade and selection, Harmon’s film is well-worthy of that estimable a stock.