Seahawks defensive lineman Shelby Harris
Harris has already been a good player in the NFL. He will be entering his eighth season and in two of the last three years has 6 sacks. He can get to the quarterback but he is also good against the run. Per Pro Football Focus (subscription required), he has been basically just as good against the run as in pass rush over most of his career. And his grades have been very good in both areas except for 2021.
Harris won’t be expected to lead Seattle in sacks this year. The team is switching to more of a 3-4 base so defensive linemen are doing things a bit differently than in years past. There might be a Cliff Avril-like player on the team (Boye Mafe?) but Avril was for all intents and purposes an outside linebacker with the Detroit Lions before he joined Seattle in 2013. Then Avril became a defensive end and, ironically, Seattle’s edge rushers are used now more like Avril was with the Lions.
Harris, however, is a true defensive lineman and can play inside or outside. This means while he is very good against the run he can also chase down opposing QBs. But the biggest reason Harris has stood out in training camp isn’t his production. We could already assume that.
But he seems to be a leader in the locker room as well. Harris is a bit like Michael Bennett was between 2013 and 2017 in that he can do multiple things on the field but is an important voice in the locker room. Harris has already voiced a strong opinion about the guardian caps players wear in practice so he appears to not be afraid to speak his mind, more than he ever has before in his career. Just like Bennett.
Let’s just hope Harris now plays like Bennett but he seems capable of doing so.