Name: Shelby Harris
Height: 6'2" Weight: 290 lbs
Age: 25 Experience: 2nd
College: Illinois State
Shelby Harris is a former seventh round pick in 2014 by the Oakland Raiders. He spent much of his rookie season on the Raiders practice squad, but found his way onto the field in seven games in his second season notching twelve tackles and sack during that time.
After the 2015 season he was released from the Raiders and picked up by the New York Jets only to be waived again before the 2016 season began. He ended up spending the end of the season on the Dallas Cowboys practice squad before being released in January. The Denver Broncos picked him under a reserve/future contract in March and he’ll be competing for a roster spot in camp.
At only 25 years, he already has three years in the league. The experience will give him a leg up on other guys just coming into the league who won’t be all that much younger than him.
He has long arms, which gives him an advantage in getting off blocks. He has bounced around the NFL in his first three seasons, but if there is anything there Bill Kollar will find it.
He has lacked ideal athleticism. For shorter defensive ends, they need elite pass rush moves and athleticism to emerge as starters in this league. Think Elvis Dumervil, who also has a shorter frame and long arms.
Harris also had a tumultuous college career strife with off the field issues, but that experience seems to be well in his rear view mirror. The maturity and work ethic appear to be there, but he has not yet put it all together to stick on a roster.
Spending the entire 2013 season in college out of football because of off the field issues, Harris completely refocused his life and goals.
“I’ve had past off the field issues and just to see them be hurt by the things that I’ve done, it’s made me realize that I’m affecting more than just me,” Harris explained in 2014 after being drafted by the Raiders. “Everything I do, I can’t just have it be for me. I do everything for them. On draft day, when you see everyone smiling and everyone’s happy, that’s what I strive to do for my family. I strive to make them all happy and proud of me. My mom is a single mom and my grandma is pretty much like my second mom; they both raised me and I will do anything not to let them down.”
He is likely a camp body who will be competing for a chance to continue developing under Kollar on the 53-man roster. The Broncos defense is loaded with talent, but if there is a depth issue on that side of the ball it is at the defensive end position.
The issue for Harris will be his size. At 290 pounds, he may not be bulky enough to fill the depth chart behind Derek Wolfe and that now massive Adam Gotsis.