Bills sign Harris, cue competition at OLB
Nic Harris (Getty Images)
Nic Harris (Getty Images)
BFR Publisher
Posted Jul 22, 2009

Buffalo inks fifth-round pick out of Oklahoma. Nic Harris could compete with Keith Ellison and company at OLB...

Buffalo reached a contract agreement with fifth round pick Nic Harris Wednesday. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. The Bills still have plenty of signings ahead, as Harris is only the third draftee to ink a deal.

Harris is certainly worth keeping an eye on at camp. A pure ballhawk safety at Oklahoma, Harris started 37 of 51 games and ranks sixth in team history with 233 tackles. The Sooners used Harris all over the field in various packages, green-lighting his playmaking ability.

Despite dominating in the collegiate ranks - Harris was a 1st team Big 12 selection twice - he slipped to day two in the draft because of his size. Many teams viewed him as too beefy for safety and too thin for linebacker. A 'tweener to a 'T.'

In Buffalo's Tampa 2 scheme, Harris may be the perfect spot. The strong-side 'backer is undersized by nature and Harris already is physically bigger than each of his competitors at the position. The mental side of the game will take time, he told the BFR a month ago. But eventually, he'll be comfortable in the scheme and Buffalo should have a heated competition at outside linebacker. For now, holdover Keith Ellison is the frontrunner with Pat Thomas and Alvin Bowen in the mix.

Click here for a column on how Harris could push for a starting spot sooner rather than later.

And here to see what Harris had to say to the BFR during OTAs. He's amped to prove his doubters wrong.

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