NAME: Joe Giles-Harris
CLASS: RS Junior
JERSEY: No. 44
RECRUITMENT RATING: 3-star
WT: 240 lbs
Football Intelligence –Quick to process and shows good understanding of needed angles in pursuit to meet the football. Steps into the LOS against combo blocks to help keep gaps plugged. Shows discipline in space to not chase bells and whistles designed to pull him out of place.
Tackling –One of the best finishers in the 2019 NFL Draft. Has great habits as a wrap-up tackler and will lasso ball carriers on lateral challenges below the waist. Does well to drive his feet on contact and ensure he’s able to transfer power through the ground and into his finish.
Block Shedding –Uses his hands well, will shoot aggressively to pop, stun and negate blockers from latching onto his chest and creating momentum away from the LOS. If he’s given up his chest, he can be lazy and be content to lock horns and occupy space.
Competitive Toughness –Relentless. Love the play urgency he brings to the field. Presses forward through contact with foot activity. Does well against smaller players to physically impose his will. Motor as a rally defender shows up on film, he’s chasing guys 20+ yards down field.
Lateral Mobility –Shows up on the boundary as a scrape defender, although he isn’t necessarily gaining a ton of ground into the LOS when he’s out there. Instead he’s able to meet ball carriers on his original alignment…many tackles 3-4 yards down the field.
Coverage Skills –Modest mobility through the hips, although play speed, anticipation and peripheral vision all help keep him effective. Steps down to bump routes, is anything but passive in the shallow areas of the field in zone coverage. Quick hand/eye coordination to disrupt throwing lanes.
Gap Shooting Ability –Doesn’t possess elite burst or suddenness but will still navigate the point of attack successfully. Has a natural feel for unfolding plays and can step into creases at the right time, withstanding push or cut attempts and staying uncovered to challenge the ball.
Feet/Change of Direction –Does not have any exceptional explosive qualities, does need to step over the outside foot to open his hips and really get up to gear. Comfortably capable scraping between the hashes before driving on a challenge .
Flexibility –Does not have a lot of looseness to unscrew himself and get hips aligned at extreme angles. Prevents him from being a blue chip player but shouldn’t be considered a restriction to every down role. Half second longer to hit pass landmarks or open to scrape at full speed.
First Step Quickness –Has had success as a blitzer and green-dog defender to step hard down into gaps and challenge backs or even lineman in protection. Momentum can be overwhelming thanks in part to build-up speed when coming down from the second level.
BEST TRAIT – Football IQ
WORST TRAIT – Flexibility
BEST FILM – Northwestern (2018)
WORST FILM – Miami (2018)
RED FLAGS – 2018 MCL
Joe Giles-Harris presents himself as a true MIKE at the NFL level. Giles-Harris has strong mental processing, shows effective habits in working over the top of plays and effective range to reach outside the numbers. Giles-Harris may not be the most fluid athlete in pass coverage but he’s effectively dropped into man coverage against RBs and has a good head for underneath zone. Giles-Harris can be an immediate starter in an even front, particularly on a defense with stout DTs in front.
Coverage – Disciplined zone coverage defender with good route awareness. Reads the backfield quickly and works into throwing windows. Modest ability to remain in phase and carry tight ends down the seam. Takes good angles to cut off RBs slipping out of the backfield.
Tackling – Secure and physical wrap up tackler with excellent contact power. Has a good tackle radius and gets his arms wrapped around the ball carrier. Rarely concedes yards after contact and routinely brings his feet through the target.
Blocks – Has the strength needed to exchange power with blockers and plug them back into gaps. Works through contact in pursuit and quick processing skills helps him get ahead of blocks. Keeps his hands active to shed.
Physicality – Aggressive and physical player. Outstanding face-up defender who excels at playing into the line of scrimmage. Rarely over-powered and is a tough competitor. Hitting power and contact balance is excellent. He’s an enforcer.
Motor – Plays with great urgency and intent. Unrelenting in his pursuit of the football and frequently makes plays on secondary effort. Always rallies to the football and is around the ball. No questions at all regarding his effort or competitive toughness.
Processing – Reads his keys quickly and takes correct angles to the football. Understands his role and the position he is supposed to be in. Disciplined player that is rarely out of position and doesn’t get manipulated by play fakes. Alert in zone coverage. Has good peripheral vision in pursuit.
Range – Adequate short area burst and range to make plays outside the tackles but he isn’t a true sideline to sideline guy. Maximizes his range by taking good angles and processing quickly. I like his pursuit angles and how conscious he is of not opening the door for cut back opportunities.
Flexibility – Good enough lateral movement skills and is able to mirror running backs as they press the line of scrimmage. Isn’t dynamic in terms of change of direction skills or burst. Wouldn’t call him clunky or segmented, he just isn’t super twitchy or explosive.
Versatility – Projects favorably to an inside linebacker role in either a 4-3 or 3-4 alignment on account of his physicality and processing skills. Features playmaking ability on every down.
BEST TRAIT – Processing Skills
WORST TRAIT – Flexibility
RED FLAGS – 2018 MCL injury
Giles-Harris is a gap-savvy, physical linebacker with terrific processing skills that profiles wonderfully to MIKE linebacker role. He excels at playing into the line of scrimmage and features outstanding finishing skills. His range and man coverage skills are modest, but he is effective defending shallow zones which gives him every down playmaking ability. Among the top defensive playmakers in the ACC over the last three seasons, Giles-Harris has early starting potential at the next level and should be a fixture on the second level for years to come.