With the offseason program complete and training camp on the horizon, it's time to look ahead. As part of the preparation for training camp, theRams.com will be spotlighting a handful of players new to the Rams' roster. The series continues with a look at rookie tight end Jacob Harris.
How He Got Here: The 6-foot-5, 211-pound Harris was drafted in the fourth round (141st overall) by the Rams, via a compensatory pick. Prior to arriving in Los Angeles, he registered 45 receptions for 920 yards and eight touchdowns while starting six of 22 games at wide receiver across his redshirt junior (2019) and redshirt senior (2020) seasons at UCF. He also played in 13 games as a redshirt sophomore, but was primarily a special teams contributor (2018, seven tackles).
What's Next: As his experience suggests, Harris is still raw, so there will be a bit of a learning curve switching from receiver to tight end. That's especially true in the Rams' offense – even Brycen Hopkins, an experienced college tight end, mostly sat and learned behind the scenes as a rookie last year, mainly contributing on special teams. New as Harris may be to the position, he showed enough during organized team activities this spring to earn reps with quarterback Matthew Stafford during 7-on-7 team drills. Like Rams head coach Sean McVay said after the final OTA practice, it's about how that translates once the pads come on, so it will be interesting to see what Harris shows in training camp and how he develops throughout the season. The Rams have Hopkins and veterans Tyler Higbee and Johnny Mundt and Kendall Blanton returning to the tight end room, but Gerald Everett's departure this offseason opens up opportunities – some of which Harris could potentially earn depending on his development. At a minimum, Harris should have a chance to contribute on special teams since he was graded by the Rams as their No. 1 special teams coverage player.
Bet You Didn't Know: Harris didn't begin playing football until his senior year when he tried out for his high school's team the summer leading into it. He did a little bit of everything, including kickoff return duties with a pair for touchdowns that season.
Quotable: "Jacob Harris is a great addition to that room," McVay said during a June 10 video conference. "I think he's a guy that has a tremendous amount of upside. (Pass game coordinator and tight ends coach) Wes Phillips has done a really nice job of getting him up to speed. But his natural range, catch radius, body control for a player of his size is pretty rare." – Sean McVay on June 10
Take a look back at rookie tight end Jacob Harris' first offseason with the Los Angeles Rams.