Matt Waldman’s RSP Boiler Room showcases three routes of NC State receiver Kelvin Harmon, at talented 2019 NFL Draft prospect who is still learning the conceptual application of detail to his route running.
Watch training camp video highlights of NFL receivers beating cornerbacks in one-on-one drills and you occasionally see routes loaded with enough moves or details that you wonder if it would actually work in real time. I often think about this when watching receivers in one-on-one drills at the Senior Bowl. Details are good; efficient details are better.
Braxton Miller was a good example of a receiver who exhibited a lot of details with routes to fake out defenders in Mobile but I wondered about the efficiency of those moves. James Washington and Cooper Kupp had a lot of details but they were streamlined within the required timing of the route.
Sometimes young receivers can go so focused on the one-on-one matchup in front of them that they forget that there are 6-9 players buying precious time and space to help get the ball to Harmon. Even so, I like detail. It’s easier to cut back on detail than add it.
There’s a route against Clemson where Harmon runs a beautiful double move that lacks efficiency. He breaks inside with his first move and takes three clean steps inside while looking back to the quarterback.
Judging the route without the timing of the pattern with the quarterback in mind, it’s a beautiful pattern against off coverage that compels the cornerback to break towards the move inside. Harmon leaves his opponent behind as he accelerates up the right flat with the ball in the air.
Unfortunately, the ball arrives three steps away from Harmon. In the video breakdown, I’ll show why those three steps with the first move of the double move made a difference.
As you watch the three plays highlighted in the video, note that Harmon displays strong detail at certain points of the route and not others. Also, note that these issues with detail are the difference between a catch and a missed throw and a tackle at the point of the collision and the potential for a missed collision and a lot more yardage.
Harmon is a good NFL prospect. The Clemson matchup reveals a lot of quality reps that, if consistent with additional viewings, bodes well for a future as a professional. It’s these missing details that can potentially set him apart from his peers as he continues his development.
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