The draft is almost here and we are continuing our draft profiles! Next up is Ohio State EDGE defender Zach Harrison. The Bucs could be looking to add some more defensive line help in this year’s draft despite drafting Logan Hall in the second round in 2022.
Will Gholston and Akiem Hicks are both still free agents and have not returned to the Buccaneers. At outside linebacker, the team re-signed Anthony Nelson but Shaq Barrett is coming off of a major injury and Joe Tryon-Shoyinka has shown promise, but is not a finished product. While the team signed Greg Gaines, you can never have enough help with rushing the passer and Harrison could be what the doctor ordered for Tampa Bay.
Zach Harrison’s Collegiate Career
The 6’5, 274 pound Harrison was a prized recruit coming out of High School. The consensus five star recruit committed to Ohio State where he would play a role in each of his four seasons. His freshman season was impressive for a newcomer, logging 3.5 sacks and 24 total tackles. He followed that up with a 2020 that was underwhelming despite being a shortened season. He only had 2 sacks with 14 total tackles.
Once 2021 hit, there were some high hopes for Harrison to finally develop into the potential he had but while his tackle numbers went back up to 33 total tackles, his sack production remained largely the same, having 3 sacks but he also had 2 forced fumbles.
During his senior season, he had 34 total tackles, 3.5 sacks and 3 forced fumbles. While he did not necessarily live up to the hype that surrounded him early on, he still became a solid contributor for the Buckeyes defense.
Pro Day and Scouting Combine
Harrison did not participate in much at the combine but he did have 25 reps on the bench press. At his pro day, he had a 34.50” vertical jump and a 123” broad jump. He also had a 4.66 shuttle time and a 7.33 three cone time.
What Harrison Can Do For The Bucs In 2023
Harrison could come in and immediately compete for serious playing time. The interesting thing is where he would potentially play in Todd Bowles’ defense. His height and weight is similar to Anthony Nelson, but can he rush the passer standing up? If he has his hand in the dirt, will he need to put on weight for this defense? While he may not be a week one starter, there is certainly a path for him to start at some point for Tampa Bay in 2023 wherever that may be. Having another guy who can rush the passer is huge, especially for a team that was thin in that area like the Buccaneers were at times in 2022.
Logan Hall is still a complete unknown, Greg Gaines is a nice player, but may not be a full time starter and after that, the team is incredibly thin on the interior defensive line next to Vita Vea, so I would think there is a chance Harrison could be an interior piece for Todd Bowles.
Three years from now, the Bucs could have a solid starter/rotational piece for their pass rush and defensive line. However if Harrison finds that potential and tools that made him such a coveted recruit out of high school, Tampa could have a star on their hands and it would make Jason Licht and Co look like Geniuses.
If Logan Hall develops, an interior defensive line of Hall-Vea-Harrison could be a pretty fun thing to watch. Or perhaps Harrison is a stand up pass rushing outside linebacker and is replacing Shaq Barrett. Either way, Harrison would be able to provide value to Tampa Bay’s defense.
Harrison is a day two prospect and will likely hear his name called sometime in the later second to mid third round. He is not likely to slip much further than that but if he somehow is available on day three, any team that picks him could get a steal.
On The Clock...
What do you think, Bucs fans? Could Harrison be a good fit for Tampa Bay? Vote in the poll below and discuss in the comment section!
The Buccaneers Should Target Zach Harrison in The NFL Draft...
This poll is closed
Early (1st round)
As Projected (day two)
Late (see if he slips to day three)
Never. He shouldn’t be on their board