Davontae Harris is one of the fastest rising NFL Draft prospects after a standout performance at the Combine. But if you ask him, he’s keeping the same mindset he had during his junior year at Illinois State when he first appeared on the radar of scouts: keep your head down and continue putting in the work.
The 5-foot-11, 205-pound cornerback has stayed true to his process. Surgery to repair his small intestine after the first game of his senior year at Wichita South High School impacted his recruiting. He landed with the Redbirds of the FCS and things clicked after a few years in 2016. Harris was an All-Missouri Valley Football Conference First-Team selection after ranking No. 1 in the conference in passes defended. He was an all-American last season, finishing his career with 190 total tackles and 37 passes defended.
Davontae Harris' late interception seals the victory!@RedbirdFB tops Indiana State, 24-13
— RedbirdHD.tv (@RedbirdHDTV) October 1, 2017
As scouts began to take notice, he kept a level head.
“I was never thinking, ‘if I do this in the fall, my draft stock will go up,’” Harris told HERO Sports. “I just played my game. The NFL was always the goal. But I didn’t overthink that kind of stuff or put much value in that stuff. I just kept my head down and played my game.”
Harris’ game at Illinois State projected him as a seventh-round draft pick or an undrafted free agent after his college career wrapped up. But he soon began to shoot up the ranks after his Combine performance, all the way to the fourth round, according to NFLDraftScout.
A big, physical cornerback, he showed off his strength with the most bench press reps among his position group with 22. Harris then ran a 4.43 40-yard dash, ranking him eighth out of all the cornerbacks. But while scouts and media raved about his performance, he knows he could have done better.
“When it comes to both of those events, I was kind of disappointed in myself,” Harris said. “I’m one of those guys where I always set goals. I went in and the goal for me was to get between 25-27 reps and to run about 4.37 to 4.38 in the 40. So not reaching those goals was disappointing to me.”
Harris still left a good impression with his combination of speed and strength. He said he met with several teams at the Combine and has gotten calls since then with scouts checking in on him.
Physical CB who can play at the LOS usually excel in the NFL and Davontae Harris checks those boxes. pic.twitter.com/nm7AJcDKxi
— Kyle Morgan (@NoHuddleScouts) December 22, 2017
“It looks like what I did (at the Combine) was a good thing and I just have to follow up with the same type of attitude and same type of performance I did at the Combine at my pro day,” he said.
Harris plans on doing his vertical again along with skill work at Illinois State’s pro day later this month. He’ll have more eyes on him than he did at the start of the draft process, but he’s not changing his mindset that got him to this point.
“At the end of the day, I know if I do my best and I put my best foot forward, whatever the outcome is I’m going to roll with it,” Harris said “I’m not into what the media says because they could be right or they could be wrong. But it’s in my hands to finish this out strong so the teams watching me see value in me.”