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NFL Draft

2021 NFL Draft Scouting Report: RB Tre Harbison III

  • The Draft Network
  • February 8, 2021
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Originally starting his career at Virginia, then head coach Mike London resigned, which led to Tre Harbison III transferring to Northern Illinois after only spending a spring in Charlottesville (2016). Harbison III eventually transferred to Charlotte, where he wanted to finish out his career as a graduate transfer. Built like a tank, Harbison III is a strong and upright runner. Possessing plenty of contact balance to take on and fend off initial hits, he’s able to create extra opportunities as a result of his frame. Stuck in neutral quite often, he’s a one-speed runner that can create some explosive plays when given a free runway to build up momentum. Harbison III is a liability in the passing game because of his inability to catch out of the backfield. 

Ideal Role: Developmental No. 3 RB.

Scheme Fit: Man/Gap/Power downhill scheme.


Written by Jordan Reid

Games watched: Appalachian State (2020), Western Kentucky (2020), UTEP (2020), Duke (2020)

Best Game Studied: Appalachian State (2020)

Worst Game Studied: UTEP (2020)

Vision: Harbison III often can become fixated on what’s straight ahead. There aren’t many examples where he readjusts his plan and takes advantage of backside paths or cutbacks. Operating primarily as an on-schedule runner, he takes exactly what the defense gives him while taking advantage of his high strength levels. 

Footwork: A stiff mover, he attempts to perform twitchy moves with his lower half, but they can look a bit unnatural because of the muscular mass in his top half. With a top-heavy frame, he can struggle with bringing his lower half in-sync with the other parts of his body. His best runs have come when he can run straight ahead from point A to point B while lowering his center of gravity to challenge any defenders that are within his path.

Contact Balance: Easily at the top of the list of his best traits, Harbison III has extra layers of body armor to challenge and fend off tacklers. Often wanting to create physical challenges for would-be tacklers, he thrives off of welcoming those battles at the contact points. 

Durability: During his best two seasons (2018 and 2019), Harbison III proved that he could be a workhorse as a rusher. Having spread out attempts in all types of blocking schemes, he had his best runs in between the tackles when allowed to attack downhill.  

Explosiveness: More of a build-up speed and momentum type of runner, Harbison III was a handful for tacklers that attempted to go low on him. With an already lower center of gravity, he combined that by lowering his pads to pending hitters. While he won't consistently produce plays of 10-plus yards, he can gain lots of hidden yardage strictly because of his well-put-together frame. 

Versatility: His biggest improvements will need to come as a passing down threat. Never reaching double-digit catches during a single-season of his career could indicate that he’s unreliable as a threat in the passing game. Not a natural hands-catcher and still learning the finer details of pass protection, he’s currently a liability in the passing game.

Elusiveness: Harbison III doesn’t waste body motions with sidestepping or making moves to make defenders miss. He’d rather run through the middle of tacklers in order to break tackles. With plenty of stiffness and athleticism limitations as a lateral mover, he turns contact points to his advantage by making them as physical as possible. 

Ball Security: Despite his physical nature, Harbison III has had minimal problems with hanging onto the ball. Only recording one fumble each of his seasons of participation, he has his lone mistake during the season, but it hasn’t been a problem outside of those single occurrences. 

Passing Down Skills: His biggest challenge entering his pro career could be proving his worth as a pass-catcher. With a single-season high of seven receptions during his career, it’s a possible indicator of why he was limited on obvious passing situations. Also facing challenges as a hands-catcher, he’s facing an uphill battle to prove that he can be an option on passing concepts or on third down.

Discipline: Showing the utmost discipline with schemes, he stays on schedule with many of his runs. Hardly ever able to knock him off of his spots, Harbison III opts to even turn zone runs into power concepts that involve him testing second-level defenders at some point.


TDN Consensus: To Be Determined

Jordan Reid: 65/100

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