I don’t even need to begin to describe the trouble Cliff Harris got himself into while with the Oregon Ducks, and those events- including a DUI- culminated in the talent cornerback getting kick off from the team. However, there is no denying denying his talent, and Harris is one of the top 50 most talent players in this draft- even if his combine 40 time was terrible.
As far as hit-or-miss prospects go, Cliff Harris is at the top. He is viewed as a guy who will either get himself out of the league through poor character and lack of work ethic, or a CB who will end up as one of the better defensive backs in the game and a top returner. The latter is almost guaranteed, given his success with the Oregon Ducks as a return man. In fact, the 2010 consensus All-American’s 2010 season is the greatest by an Oregon Duck returner in history. He had four return touchdowns and an average of 18.8 yards per punt return (insane). He led the nation in punt return touchdowns and the conference in all of those stats- as well as punt returns and punt return yards.
If you think all Cliff Harris can do is return, then you would be dead wrong. He had six interceptions and, get this, 23 passes defended in 2010. If that doesn’t constitute being a top shutdown corner, then I don’t know what does. Harris was among the top five leaders in INTs in the nation and had the most tips in the country. He led the Pac-10 in interception return yards and all the other aforementioned statistics.
When looking at his talent and overall body of work, it is apparent that Cliff Harris is at least one of the top five corners in the 2012 NFL Draft in terms of raw talent, and maybe even one of the best three defensive backs overall. However, those character concerns are as bad as it gets, and they are the types that ruin careers and put a strain on an organization. For this reason, a high second-round talent will most likely end up as a fourth round pick.