Harrison Hand Roster Profile
Harrison Hand was drafted by the Minnesota Vikings with the 24th pick in the fifth round of the 2020 NFL Draft. Hand played his college football at Baylor for two years, before transferring to Temple for his junior, and final, season.
In this series we will examine:
- Hand’s prospect profile from our Head of College and NFL Content Simon Carroll
- his productivity in college
- his potential opportunities in the NFL in the upcoming season
PRO’S: Strong, physical corner with some power behind his pads. Willing to mix it up at the line of scrimmage, his first strike firm and consistently able to redirect his opponent. Well versed in all roles at the position – played all kinds of coverage at Temple; press, off-man, and zone. Good football instincts and you can see he’s comfortable operating in space. Shows an innate understanding of dangers posed by offensive alignments and uses good positioning to help him counter. Keeps one eye on the quarterback at all times. Pleased with his fundamentals when tackling and footwork when moving horizontally.
CON’S: Athletically lacking. Stiff hips evident on tape, and frequently gives separation when mirroring the receiver’s breaks. Backpedal looks awkward, and there is significant gearing down from transition to pursuit. Deep speed or recovery speed just not good enough to get him back into plays. Can be grabby when losing and will probably incur more penalties, particularly early in his career.
SIMON CARROLL: “Rumours of a switch to safety swirl around Hand and you can see why – his strength is in zone coverage where he can see the play in front of him, and moving him to strong safety would allow a team to take advantage of his physicality and also aide in the run game, where he can be an asset. There’s no denying he’s slow, and coaches don’t like to be limited to what scheme’s they run based on ability, but Hand’s skill set should allow him to carve out a pro career for himself”.
Opportunities at the next level
Coming into the NFL off his best season in college, Hand will be looking to hit the ground running when he gets the chance to get on the field in 2020. Hand was one of three cornerbacks drafted by the Vikings as part of their monster draft class this year. Hand will start at the bottom of the depth chart among the rookies, with Jeff Gladney having been selected in the first round and Cameron Dantzler in the third round.
The three rookies will join a somewhat depleted cornerback depth chart. This time last year, the Vikings depth chart contained both Trae Waynes and Xavier Rhodes, but both of those left during this offseason. In terms of the top veteran cornerbacks remaining on the roster, the Vikings have 2018 first-round selection Mike Hughes, 2018 UDFA Holton Hill and 2019 seventh-round pick Kris Boyd.
There is tremendous opportunity for all of the rookie cornerbacks with the Vikings this season, including Hand. All three of them have a better pedigree than two of the veterans currently slated to be among the roster options for this team. While Hand will have hos work cut out in terms of getting a starting spot in 2020, he has a great opportunity to lock down the fourth spot on the depth chart.
From there, Hand is just one injury or a few weeks of poor performance from a chance to see regular playing time. Not many fifth round picks have an opportunity to be bullish about the potential of playing time in their rookie season, but Hand has a real opportunity to impress and make that the case for him.
Head of NFL Content
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