The center position was identified as one of the key pieces the Indianapolis Colts were looking to solidify this offseason, with many experts saying that the team would go after Cleveland Browns center Alex Mack. With head coach Chuck Pagano and general manager Ryan Grigson watching tape after tape of different athletes who can come in and fill the void, they chose to elect Khaled Holmes (the Colts 4th round pick in 2013) as our opening day starter.
This seemed to scratch many heads of Colts fans, as Holmes barely had any snaps under his belt since arriving to the league. Holmes’ first chance to show promise occurred in the Colts first pre-season game this past week. Everything worked out well the first couple plays, but then a sudden ankle injury to Holmes took him out for the game, and most likely the rest of the pre-season. What were the Colts supposed to do now? The Colts did what they always do, and provide the “Next Man Up” standard. In steps in #72, Jonotthan Harrison.
Harrison is a 6-foot-4, 308 pound center who played for the university of Florida. He was considered the 8th best center in this past draft (according to NFL.com), and was widely considered a mid round prospect, which would fall into either the 4th or 5th round.
Harrison is a team captain, plain and simple. He carries himself well and has an abundance of confidence. Harrison started all 25 games for the Gators in 2012-2013, and played exceptionally well, claiming a force to be reckoning with in the trenches.Something the Colts desperately need.
Harrison’s strengths come with his physical attributes. He has outstanding size and definitely uses it to his advantage. Harrison matches well up against strong and powerful defensive lineman, and can stop the charge at the point of attack. While he isn’t a freakishly good athlete, his IQ makes up for it.
In his senior year at Florida, Harrison was voted as the MVP and Offensive Player of the Year for his team. Harrison’s weaknesses come with his foot quickness and his recovery speed is sub-par. These things can be taught and he will need to improve on both if he ever wants to find himself as a real starting center.
All in all, Harrison needs to prove his worth in this league and should continue to show strong confidence in his game. He can become another gem in Grigson’s pool of talent, but he will definitely need to take his time and tune up some inconsistencies. Look for him to be on the 53-man roster come opening day, and it wouldn’t surprise anyone to see him climb up the depth chart throughout the season, and find himself penciled in as the starter.