When the Texans added Christian Harris at linebacker they became a better defense.
Looking at the 2022 NFL Draft profile of Houston Texans third-round pick Christian Harris, it says on NFL.com the linebacker “will eventually become an average starter,” and if that is the case, the 11th pick of the third round could be a starter sooner rather than later for the Texans.
With 2022 training camp less than two full months away, the Texans have a player in Harris — a former linebacker for the Alabama Crimson Tide — who had a 4.44 40-yard dash time recorded while he was preparing for the draft, and he’s a player who has a 34.5 vertical jump.
The 6-foot Harris weighs 226 pounds and was a three-year starter for Alabama, one of the most elite collegiate football programs around, meaning for the competition he faced in practice during the week, many of those players are or will be in the NFL too.
As for Harris’ numbers in three seasons at Alabama, they looked like this:
- 40 games played
- 124 solo tackles
- 96 assisted tackles
- 220 total tackles
- 26 tackles for loss
- 10 sacks
- 1 interception
- 6 passes defensed
- 1 fumble recovery
- 2 forced fumbles.
In his final season with the Crimson Tide, the stat which jumps off the page is his 11.5 tackles for loss in ’21, plus that season he had 5.5 sacks and forced two fumbles in 15 total games played.
Now how can his numbers in the college level transfer over to the NFL game with the Texans?
Texans: How can Christian Harris help Houston in 2022?
The Texans use a Tampa 2 defense, which for base purposes is four defensive linemen and three linebackers, and as of this point of June, before training camps take place, Harris is third on the ESPN.com depth chart. With OurLads.com’s depth chart, Harris is listed as a weakside linebacker (outside), so right now it is too early to tell where exactly he’ll play when 2022 begins.
This preseason will be eventful for the Texans and Harris as two of their three preseason games are on national media with the NFL Network and Amazon Plus airing their final two preseason games.
Harris at linebacker seems to be playing behind Christian Kirksey (MLB) and Kamu Grugier-Hill (WLB) depending on where he’ll be placed at linebacker, and those two were the top two linebackers for the Texans in ’21. Who better for Harris to learn from than those two in the early stages of his NFL career than those two players who have battled their way to being starters for this franchise?
What’s exciting about Harris joining the roster in ’22 is the depth he adds for this season and the potential he has for the ensuing seasons. Harris is in an excellent position to grow as a player because of the rebuild currently with the Texans. Harris shouldn’t be rushed to become a starter, and as stated earlier, one day he’ll become a starter, so for the sake of the Texans they need to take their time with him and the rest of the rookies.
Texans general manager Nick Caserio seems to be in the midst of a master plan in rebuilding Houston in his vision, and using a third-round pick on Harris isn’t something to overlook.
Caserio seems to have high value when it comes to making draft choices and loading up on draft picks, so Caserio and head coach Lovie Smith probably have some big plans in store for Harris his rookie season.
As for you, the reader, what are your thoughts on Christian Harris for the ’22 season and past that, because he should be a big part of the defense for years to come.