Coming into the 2021 season, Miami running back Cam’Ron Harris was on the cusp of a breakout year. He showed flashes of his skillset in 2020 and then started off this season strong. Harris was on pace for career highs in all categories, which would indubitably lift his draft stock. However, his season was cut short after just six games after he suffered a leg injury. The timing of the injury was obviously not ideal for the Canes, but also may have derailed Harris’ chances of getting the call during NFL Draft weekend.
While Harris had eligibility to return, the prospect of returning to the Canes’ backfield also was not ideal as the team has a loaded/deep backfield and Harris would be have to earn his way back while dealing with the leg injury.
Thus, Harris declared for the NFL Draft where he hopes to get an opportunity with a team.
RB Cam’Ron Harris Draft Snapshot:
2022 NFL Draft Ranking* - 48th Running Back
(Position Ranking based on The Athletic, Dane Brugler, 2022 Draft Guide)*
Height: 5’8” (9th Percentile)
Weight: 214lbs (52nd Percentile)
Arm Length: 29 7/8” (16th Percentile)
Wingspan: 73 1/8” (29th Percentile)
Hand: 9 1/4” (48th Percentile)
2018: 7GP, 28 Attempts, 166 Yards (5.9 Y/C), 2 TDs; 1 Receiving TD
2019: 13GP/3GS, 114 Attempts, 576 Yards (5 Y/C), 5 TDs; 16 Receptions, 1 Receiving TD
2020: 11GP/10GS, 126 Attempts, 643 Yards (5.1 Y/C), 10 TDs; 18 Receptions, 1 Receiving TD
2021: 7GP/6GS, 71 Attempts, 409 Yards (5.8 Y/C), 5 TDs; 11 Receptions, 1 Receiving TD
CAREER: 339 Attempts, 1,794 Yards (5.3 Y/C), 22 TDs; 48 Receptions, 393 Receiving Yards, 4 Receiving TDs
#Hurricanes running back Cam’Ron Harris declares for #NFL draft #UM https://t.co/G0QyWQDQ22 pic.twitter.com/VGfneQVPsg— Sun Sentinel Sports (@Sentinel_Sports) December 8, 2021
Pro Football Focus (PFF) Grades
- Overall 2018 PFF Grade: 63.4
- Overall 2019 PFF Grade: 68.5
- Overall 2020 PFF Grade: 70.2
- Overall 2021 PFF Grade: 72.6, 251 Backfield, 11 Slot, 6 Wide
Combine/Pro Day Results:
Bench: 23 reps (79th Percentile)
Did Not Test in Remainder
Carrying the Lineage of Consistent Canes’ Running Backs
Originally from Carol City in Opa Locka, Harris, previously known as Cam’Ron Davis, joined Miami as a four-star recruit (no. 173 in nation, no. 7 overall running back) and in spite of offers from Georgia, Oregon, Tennessee, and Wisconsin, among others. As an All-Dade Team Member, Harris came in with all the necessary traits to excel as a running back and immediately saw action playing in seven games. He then saw an uptick in playing time the following year but he remained behind current Seattle Seahawk, DeeJay Dallas (both Dallas and Travis Homer were on the roster Harris’ freshman year).
Cam’Ron Harris | #TheU® pic.twitter.com/z7lhU9PVp2— GO ‘CANES! (@83_87_89_91_01) November 21, 2021
Displaying patience, Harris was finally a full-time starter his third year and he thrived by amassing 643 yards and 10 touchdowns. The breakthrough was expected to continue this past season and he was on pace for an even more productive 2021 season, however, he suffered a season-ending leg injury in the seventh game.
If not for the injury in 2021, Harris’ draft stock would be much higher due to his freakish athleticism and on-field play.
Freakish Athleticism to Match On-Field Skillset
The less-than-ideal injury in 2021 may have diminished Harris’ draft stock that had been rising prior to injury. However, Harris has the freakish athleticism (hit 23.07 MPH last year during a 75-yard touchdown run) and talent to get plenty of looks among draft scouts. The 5’8”, 214 pound back has reportedly registered a 3-cone time of 6.88, squats 525 pounds, and benches 365 during his college career. At Miami’s Pro Day, he could only participate in the Bench Press but put up 23 reps, which is 79th Percentile among RBs.
The injury adds uncertainty to Harris’ timeline and he will likely need to do individual tryouts to get a roster spot. That being said, there are many athletic running backs who were undrafted but are thriving at the NFL level (James Robinson, Darrel Williams, Austin Ekeler).
When healthy, Harris has been productive as he has averaged more than 5 yards a carry and also added a receiving touchdown each year. However, he averaged just about 10+ carries a game in each season even when the RB1. He does not exhibit a great deal of utility as a pass catcher but can get serious yardage in the open field. On top of the straight line speed, Harris is elusive and able to get out of trouble with lateral moves. One of his best, and most exciting, traits is his fearlessness and leveraging his compact frame to get extra yards through defenders. Harris left many defensive backs on their backs.
Cam'Ron Harris 75 yard TD Run for the Canes pic.twitter.com/cWQbvQg24O— NCAAF Nation (@NCAAFNation247) September 20, 2020
Due to his rush attempt limitations in college, it has not been proven Harris can necessarily be a bellcow for an entire season - especially after this past year’s injury. Even though he is not elite in any category, Harris would definitely be a sound contributor to a backfield-by-committee with his skillset. He is reliable as he only had one fumble throughout his college career. He also has special teams experience and is an above average blocker.
- Freakish Athleticism: 23.07MPH on 75-yd run last year, 6.88 3-cone, 525-pound squat, and 365-pound bench
- Decent Production: Averaged above five yards a carry every year
- Diverse Skillset of Elusiveness, Speed, and Power
- Ball Security: One Fumble throughout college career
- Willing Blocker and Pass Protector
- Special Teams Experience
- Recovering from Leg Injury
- Not natural as a pass catcher
- Could be limited to Role Back rather than Bellcow
- Developmental Project due to Injury
Best NFL Fits (UDFA): Buffalo Bills, Houston Texans, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Miami Dolphins, Denver Broncos, Kansas City Chiefs, Los Angeles Chargers, Las Vegas Raiders
NFL Comparisons: Darrell Henderson, Myles Gaskin, James Robinson
Harris’ natural athleticism and potential at the next level, should he remain durable, are worth stashing away for a season even if he has to redshirt while he continues his recovery.
In the last decade, Miami has had a number of players pass through and make the NFL: Lamar Miller, Mike James, Mark Walton, Gus Edwards, Travis Homer, and DeeJay Dallas. Harris has as much as talent as all of them and should find a role at the next level.
Draft Night Projection: (UDFA)
UDFA to the Kansas City Chiefs: Harris will likely be stuck with a wait-and-see approach after this weekend as he continues to rehabilitate his leg injury. Once he is healthy, many teams should give him a chance, including the Chiefs who could use a change-of-pace running back in their backfield.