Los Angeles Rams rookie tight end Jacob Harris caught the team’s attention with his rare combination of size and speed.
At 6-foot-5 and about 215 pounds, Harris played snaps at both wide receiver and tight end at UCF. His skill set ultimately spurred the Rams to take him in the fourth round of the 2021 NFL Draft as part of their efforts to revamp the receiving corps around quarterback Matthew Stafford.
Harris made it clear he was open to contributing wherever he was needed as a rookie. Organized team activities and mandatory minicamp have since featured him primarily at tight end.
Despite some of the challenges, Harris noted that he is embracing the full-time switch to tight end, via Cameron DaSiva of USA Today:
“It’s going good. I’m learning a lot. A lot of football – more football than I could’ve imagined I could learn,” Harris said. “So it’s pretty cool being in that room, getting comfortable in a three-point stance and whatnot. Being comfortable next to the O-line in that world. It’s a whole different world in there, but I’m taking it day by day and I’m learning a lot and I feel like I’m picking it up pretty quickly.”
Making the transition to the inside could be a daunting task, especially for a rookie already transitioning to the next level. Fortunately, Harris’ comments indicate that he is more than up to the task.
After all, the team already boasts a crowded receiving corps thanks to the influx of talent through free agency and the draft this offseason. Meanwhile, tight end Tyler Higbee has shown he is capable of serving as a go-to option if needed.
The departure of tight end Gerald Everett left a notable void for another big-bodied target in the passing game for Stafford. It is one that fellow tight ends Johnny Mundt and Brycen Hopkins are looking to fill themselves after some time in the system.
Of course, Harris will need to show that he can handle the dirty work that comes with playing the position. The Rams made concerted efforts to get the ground game back on track and will continue to rely on it heavily for their balanced approach on offense.
The best way for Harris to show that he can make an immediate impact is by making strong contributions to special teams. This could prove to be the difference for him and other potential bubble players to make the 53-man roster.