Like a capable understudy in the wings, his time is finally here.
Harris was a 2020 fifth-round pick, having played his college ball at the University of Washington.
Harris was named all Pac-12 his junior and senior seasons with the Huskies, a huge jump for a guy who received only one FBS offer (from . . . Washington, obviously).
And for two seasons, Harris has bided his time, waiting his turn.
Now, he projects to be the Browns’ starting center.
Here are three things to know about the new snapper:
1. One, New, Three
So far this offseason, the Browns have experienced a sea change in key positions.
Beckham left midseason, after an apparent rift with coaches.
Don’t feel too bad for the former LSU stud–he picked up a ring with the LA Rams.
Beckham’s LSU and Cleveland running mate, Jarvis Landry, departed in free agency, opting for homecoming with the New Orleans Saints.
To replace the pair, the Browns brought in Cowboys star Amari Cooper and selected David Bell in the draft.
Also (probably) not returning is former no. 1 overall pick, Baker Mayfield.
That’s because the Browns traded for Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson back in March.
So far, Mayfield has made his desire to get out of dodge apparent.
Lost in all of this is the fact that J.C. Tretter, one of the team’s most stable and reliable starters, was released by the Browns this offseason.
— Fred Greetham (@FredGreetham9) May 25, 2022
Nick Harris was quickly tapped to replace the aging center.
Here’s what Harris had to say when his name was finally called:
“I’ve been here for two years and I was like, ‘Well, it’s time.’ I was just ready. I was like, ‘Let’s do it.’ I just wanted to portray myself as a professional and just do my job.”
That’s a significant change at arguably the three most important positions on the offense: QB, WR, and center.
Generally, teams try to prevent that much turnover.
The Browns are zagging, opting for a major overhaul, with Harris in the thick of it all.
2. Hungry Hungry Husky
Unfortunately, NFL rules prohibit protecting quarterbacks with an earthen mountain.
That doesn’t mean Nick Harris isn’t trying to transform himself into one.
Watching Building the Browns.
Center Nick Harris eats 7,000 calories per day and has added 16 lbs of muscle in the off-season.
— Dr. Chinstrap ☢️ #D4L (@ChinstrapD4l) May 8, 2022
He’ll need to bulk up, especially playing in the AFC North.
In fact, Pittsburgh’s defensive front averaged the most sacks per game last season.
Hopefully, Harris maintains his fluid mobility; adding weight is an excellent decision, but not if it renders him immobile.
3. What Could Have Been?
Center is something of a difficult position in the NFL.
When you’re good, it’s the best of times.
You’re the toast of the city.
When you’re bad?
You might as well never step foot in town after sunset.
Ditto for GMs who make the wrong move on draft night.
Which begs the question, which would you rather have – Nick Harris or Jonathan Taylor?
The Browns very well could have had the latter.
That’s because Cleveland traded the second-round pick that would become Taylor to the Colts in exchange for the fifth-rounder that became Harris and another second-rounder (Grant Delpit).
Considering Taylor became football’s best runner last season, let’s hope Harris performs well.
Otherwise, Harris’ name might be added to the list of questionable draft-day moves made by the Browns.