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Meet the Prospect: Christian Harris

Name: Christian Harris

Position: Linebacker

School: Alabama

Ht/Wt: 6-0 1/2, 226

40-yard dash: 4.44

Bench: Did not bench

Vertical: 34.5 inches

Broad: 132 inches

3-cone: Did not run

20-yard shuttle: Did not run

How he fits: It's unclear how the Lions plan to use their current linebackers on the roster now that they've transitioned into more of a 4-3 base defense. Alex Anzalone, Jarrad Davis and Derrick Barnes could all be in the mix for playing time, but where? MIKE, WILL or SAM?

Harris is an explosive athlete. He has terrific speed, and could project as a chase-and-destroy WILL linebacker at the NFL level. The Lions like their depth at linebacker with the addition of Chris Board and the re-signing of Shaun Dion Hamilton, Josh Woods and others this offseason, but competition is never a bad thing. The Lions don't have a linebacker on the roster with Harris' kind of 4.4 speed.

Harris started all 15 games for the Crimson Tide this past season, making 79 stops, 12.5 for loss (second most on the team) with 5.5 sacks, three pass breakups and two forced fumbles.

Harris can be an impact blitzer and efficient cover man. He has a high football and the potential to be a three-down linebacker in the NFL.

Key observations: A high school receiver and defensive back, Harris made the transition to linebacker and started as a true freshman for Nick Saban, which says a lot. He would go on to start 40 of 41 games in his Alabama career.

Harris was a semifinalist for the Butkus and Lombardi awards this past season.

What they had to say about him: "Harris is an explosive linebacker with intriguing upside, who improved every week. Against the pass, he's been asked to cover RBs, TEs and occasionally slot receivers. He has the speed to match up and can find/play the ball, as evidenced by a deft pass breakup vs. LSU. He is quick to identify screens and then explodes to make the play. He is an excellent tackler in space.

"Harris is also a very dynamic blitzer, rocketing through gaps for sacks and pressures. Against the run, he isn't an instant key/diagnose player, but once he sees it, he has a burst to the line of scrimmage. He flashes the ability to aggressively take on blockers with his shoulder, but he gets stuck and swallowed too often. I'd like to see him use his hands more. Overall, the arrow is pointing up for Harris. His best football is ahead of him." – Daniel Jeremiah, NFL media analyst

How he stacks up: Harris is the No. 39 overall prospect on Jeremiah's Top 50 list. He's Bucky Brooks' No. 3 linebacker available in the class behind Devin Lloyd (Utah) and Nakobe Dean (Georgia).

The Athletic's Dane Brugler lists Harris as the No. 5 linebacker in the class, and No. 46 in his Top 100. He's No. 37 in Scouts Inc.'s ranking of this year's prospects, and falls in at No. 61 on CBS Sports' ranking.

What he had to say: "I just want them to know I am not just an inside linebacker," Harris said at the Combine when asked what he wants teams to know about him. "I have definitely developed my knowledge of the game. I know everybody's spot. I can communicate. I can play fast. I can get guys lined up. I can be a leader on the defense."

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