In what’s becoming a much stronger offensive tackle class, where does the 2023 NFL Draft scouting report of Oklahoma OT Anton Harrison rank? There’s still plenty of time for things to settle out. But as it stands, Harrison might just have the tools to fight for an early-round spot.
Anton Harrison NFL Draft Profile
Few teams can boast the sheer amount of NFL offensive tackle talent that Oklahoma has produced. Since 2005, the Sooners already have four Pro Bowl offensive tackles to tout — Jammal Brown, Trent Williams, Lane Johnson, and Orlando Brown.
Oklahoma and offensive tackle is one of those combinations you expect to produce NFL talent — and Harrison is on track to prove that notion right. A four-star recruit out of the 2020 class, Harrison has quickly blossomed into a high-level starting tackle at the collegiate level.
Harrison saw playing time right away in college. He played in nine games as a true freshman and started 12 games at left tackle as a true sophomore in 2021. He’s always been a fixture, but something is different in 2022. Harrison has reworked his body, and he’s never looked more like an NFL prospect.
He’s now set on a steep ascent to the professional level — one that might land him in the first round of the 2023 NFL Draft.
- Position: Offensive Tackle
- School: Oklahoma
- Current Year: Junior
- Height/Weight: 6’5″, 315 pounds
Anton Harrison Scouting Report
Oklahoma has no shortage of offensive line development on its record. Can Harrison be the next Sooners product to take his talents to the NFL and flourish at the professional level?
Standing at 6’5″, 315 pounds, Harrison has a strong, wide, and well-proportioned frame with excellent length. His frame is an in-built strength of his, but he also possesses excellent functional athleticism within that frame.
Harrison has good foot speed moving upfield and can use smooth lateral agility to square up blockers. He’s an explosive athlete moving into space and covers a great deal of ground for his size when attacking defenders. Similarly, Harrison has the lateral explosiveness to cover excessive ground tracking to the sideline. He can overtake the 5-tech quickly off the snap and pursue linebackers on zone runs.
Harrison has great range in space for his size and traverses the line effortlessly as a pulling blocker, using his explosiveness to surge into contact. Taking it a step further, Harrison’s athleticism translates into pass protection as well. He has the corrective short-area athleticism to tempo up and quickly close attack paths, and can maintain control while doing so.
With his frame density and length, Harrison has great natural raw power, and easily displaces defenders at contact with full extensions. He has the initial power to shock defenders at contact and freeze opponents in place while in pursuit. Furthermore, Harrison’s shown to fully extend and then align his base to sustain power exertions with leg drive.
Harrison has great raw power, but his operational power — the art of maximizing power exertions with proper execution — is just as appealing. The Oklahoma OT is able to load his hips into extensions and use torque to rotate defenders out of running paths while maintaining control.
Harrison can use this torque to unleash devastating extensions on lighter defenders, and he consistently uses his hips to aid extensions and maximize operational power and knock-back force. In fact, with his raw power and violence, Harrison can fold rushers at the apex.
Going further, Harrison also has exceptional play strength. The Oklahoma OT has the core strength to keep defenders within his frame and stymy power rushes with ease. With his core and grip strength, he holds the edge on running plays and walls off defensive ends.
With his raw strength, Harrison can quickly suffocate rushes from blitzing linebackers, his strong base and wide frame enabling him to absorb contact. Additionally, Harrison has the hand strength to quickly break anchors at contact. He’s also shown to maintain grip strength while stressed laterally.
Even for his size, Harrison very naturally plays beyond his center of gravity. He can distribute his weight effectively to absorb and dilute opposing power. He’s also able to lean into blocks and use his lower body to shoulder the brunt of the force. Harrison is well-balanced while changing directions and matching rushers in pass protection, and he maintains balance even through lapses in synergy.
Harrison has a lot of positive qualities, but his hip flexibility for his size is perhaps the most surprising. With his hip fluidity, Harrison can stack direction changes in close quarters to reset alignment and match rushers. His hips are impressively fluid in pass protection. He easily flips around the apex, walls off rushers, and re-channels momentum into blocks.
Harrison also has the hip flexibility to quickly swivel around and redirect overhang defenders outside of plays after chipping defensive ends. He can snap hips back into place and square up after turning to drive rushers outside the apex. Moreover, Harrison’s very quick to recollect his feet and explode into defenders after flipping at the apex. And in the run game, he can flip his hips around on reach blocks and freely swivel to seal open lanes.
The physical tools buoy Harrison’s foundation as a prospect, but his active hand usage is what generates the most excitement. Harrison employs lightning-fast hand replacement to re-establish anchors on blocks and lock out defenders. He’s extremely proactive with his hand usage and consistently uses successive extensions to powerfully contain defenders. The Oklahoma OT can quickly break anchors with violent swipes, then immediately re-exert and displace. Furthermore, Harrison can use fast, independent hands to gather rushers, then latch and anchor in rapid succession.
Within his independent hand usage, Harrison displays a strong inside hand — something that helps him control reps. He bats down attempted rips with his inside hand, then drives imbalanced rushers into the turf. He also flashes precision with his hands. The Oklahoma OT can react quickly, then target and nullify opposing extensions. Expanding on that point, Harrison has a great sense of timing. He can swat down clubs, then violently rotate his hips at the apex and extend to lock out rushers.
In pass protection, Harrison keeps a wide base and can naturally buoy rushers with his base and frame. He has great corrective foot speed and can use it to quickly snap into the proper alignment, both before engaging rushers and before attacking upfield as a run blocker. As a pass blocker, Harrison is fairly controlled, both on his kick and with his footwork while matching. He can tempo up his footwork and widen his shuffle steps to match rushers to the apex.
Despite being a third-year junior, Harrison shows off impressive awareness. The Oklahoma OT effectively stacks blocks while climbing to the second level, and he has good awareness of angles in space. He’s shown to quickly recognize delayed stunts, and he can attack defenders moving inside while simultaneously picking up looping rushers.
Overall, Harrison shows great vision. He’s aware of wider-delayed rushers and can drag the 5-tech with one arm while widening to cut off outside angles. Harrison actively widens his hands when faced with multiple rushers and can quickly condense his stance and attack when one rusher commits.
Finally, as a finisher, Harrison is incredibly physical and again proactive. He actively overwhelms defenders with full extensions and brutally capitalizes by driving defenders into the turf when they sacrifice leverage. He’ll also take advantage of defenders who attempt to redirect and use his hips to take over reps.
Harrison’s Areas for Improvement
Harrison is a young, ascending draft prospect with an abundance of physical tools and promising operational components. That said, there’s still room for the Oklahoma OT to refine his game.
Harrison’s grip strength isn’t quite elite. The Sooners’ blocker isn’t always able to establish a stable grip at contact, which can allow defenders to slip through his frame. At times, he struggles to anchor effectively when faced with opposing power.
Harrison can also be worked off-balance and out of proper positioning when power is exerted inside his torso. Additionally, he sometimes plays a bit too upright on his axis and can be exploited if his hands are too wide.
It doesn’t help that Harrison’s hands are too wide more often than desired. This can expose his torso to opposing power and make him easier to work off-center. Additionally, when Harrison’s hands are too wide as a moving blocker heading upfield, he sometimes bear hugs opponents by default, impacting his grip and risking penalties.
MORE: 2023 NFL Draft Big Board
As a hand fighter, Harrison can be baited into extending too early and give up positioning when rushers divert inside. He’ll also get grabby at times when rushers get a step on him.
While his footwork is generally sound, Harrison could further refine this part of his game as well. Harrison’s feet sometimes cross a bit when needing to recover ground against wider rushers. Additionally, he sometimes sets too far inside and allows a vertical path around the apex. He could also get better depth on his kick.
Among other things, Harrison can be a bit late recalibrating his hands after chipping while moving upfield, allowing linebackers to exploit his torso. Going further, he could be more precise with his positioning when chipping backside defenders, as he sometimes gives up too much space. Harrison occasionally turns too far upfield when flipping at the apex and gives lanes back inside. Additionally, he sometimes extends too high when attempting to drive defenders.
Current Draft Projection for Oklahoma OT Anton Harrison
Harrison is an offensive tackle prospect worthy of first-round capital. While he might not be at the level of Paris Johnson Jr. and Olumuyiwa Fashanu just yet, he’s undoubtedly in the Round 1 conversation. Harrison’s also visibly trending up as he racks up more reps at the LT spot.
As is often the case with younger prospects, Harrison still stands to improve a bit in the operational areas. There are times when he plays too upright in his stance, and his hands can be too wide and too high on occasion. Additionally, while he has great corrective foot speed, there’s room for Harrison to be more efficient with his movement.
That said, Harrison already shows bright flashes with his control, both with his footwork and hand usage. He’s a proactive hand-fighter with independent hands, powerful extensions, and a working knowledge of successive moves. Beyond that, he’s explosive, physical, powerful, and phenomenal at maximizing power exertions with rotation and torque.
Harrison has an excellent physical foundation as an offensive tackle and has shown he can build off of it with proper operation and fast play pace. He has the tools to be a starting left tackle early on in his career and can go on to be an impact starter with scheme versatility.