The Jaguars were pleased with their “bounty” from the recently completed 2018 draft. Then, again, most teams feel that they have helped themselves shortly after the draft each year. Still, Jacksonville does have momentum coming off a playoff season and were able to address some depth concerns with their first few picks.
That would include their third round pick, safety Ronnie Harrison, from the Alabama Crimson Tide. Harrison was part of an early onslaught of SEC players the Jags selected, including Gators DT Taven Bryan in round one and LSU WR D.J. Chark in the second round.
And, here are five more things about Harrison that make Jacksonville’s selection of him in a middle round quite interesting.
First, Harrison was actually a high school football star in Tallahassee, but Nick Saban and the Tide were able to beat out Jimbo Fisher and staff four years ago and lure him to Tuscaloosa. While at Florida State Universtiy School, Harrison was not only a defensive back but was recruited for being a dual threat QB. He threw for 2,000 and rushed for another 1,000+ yards in his senior season.
Harrison, who is 6-3 210lbs. played both corner and safety right away at Alabama in his freshman season. He played a reserve role and finished with 17 tackles, but played in the SEC Championship Game, as well as, the College Football Playoff games. Alabama won the title over Clemson his freshman year.
Harrison blossomed into a star safety his second year for the Tide, as he was second in the team in tackles with 86, and had an interception and fumble return for touchdowns during the year. He also recorded 10 tackles in Bama’s championship game rematch loss to Clemson that year. He followed in his senior season with an additional 74 tackles and three interceptions, including a four tackle performance (above) in the Tide’s dramatic win for the Championship in January over Georgia. He was named second team All SEC for his efforts.
Harrison did not run the forty at the NFL Scouting Combine or the Alabama pro day, but still ESPN’s Todd McShay raved about him being one of the top safeties and “most underrated players in the draft” after studying his tapes and evaluating his workout on Alabama’s pro day.
Finally, in addition to his teammate Minkah Fitzpatrick going 11th overall to the Dolphins, Harrison is part of a distinguished fraternity. There have been 10 total Bama defensive backs now drafted in the first three rounds, since Saban took over as head coach in 2007.
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