2017 NFL Draft Player Profiles: Louisville S Josh Harvey-Clemons

College Football: Clemson Wayne Gallman (9) in action, rushing vs Louisville Josh Harvey-Clemons (25) at Memorial Stadium. Clemson, SC 10/1/2016 CREDIT: Simon Bruty (Photo by Simon Bruty /Sports Illustrated/Getty Images) (Set Number: SI574 TK1 )

From now until the 2017 NFL Draft takes place, we hope to showcase as many prospects as possible and examine both their strengths and weaknesses. Most of these profiles will feature individuals that the Pittsburgh Steelers are likely to have an interest in, while a few others will be top-ranked players. If there is a player you would like us to analyze, let us know in the comments below.

Josh Harvey-Clemons/S Louisville – 6’4 217

The Good

– Great size and elite length (35 3/8) and big hands (10 3/8)
– Good athlete and a long strider to make up for lack of elite straight line speed, easy mover
– Reliable open field tackler who displays good technique and focus on wrapping up
– Shows physicality and power when able to come downhill to fill the alley in run support
– Closes quickly and uses size/length to drag down runners where other, smaller players wouldn’t be able to do so
– Embraces the run around the line of scrimmage, works off blocks and takes on FBs on lead plays
– Experience playing as a dime linebacker, single high, and two high looks, mix of man and zone
– Zone turn is fluid and takes good angles to the ball in coverage, uses length to contest at catch points
– Flashes ability to locate and attack the ball downfield
– Bigger hitter in coverage than he is against the run, flashes a violent streak
– Asked to blitz and used all over the field, could have relatively easy transition to the NFL

The Bad

– Not an elite athlete and long speed is only average, lack of it can cause him to get beat to the edge by fast backs
– Could stand to be more physical in the run game
– Has to work on technique in man coverage and stay in phase, has tools but needs refined
– Bit stiff because of his size and struggles to make small adjustments in angles at last second when RB changes direction
– Tweener and doesn’t have a true, every-down position in the NFL
– Statistically minor production, didn’t make a lot of splash plays in career

Bio

– 34 career starts
– Career: 229 tackles, 4 INTs
– 2016: 61 tackles, 4 TFL, 2 sacks, 0 INT, 0 FF
– Transferred from Georgia after 2013 season, sat out 2014 due to NCAA rules
– Top prospect out of high school, ESPN’s #1 OLB in the country

Tape Breakdown

If you like Obi Melifonwu or Jabrill Peppers but are turned off by the price tag, Josh Harvey-Clemons is your dude. He’s the big, long type like Melifonwu and one of his bigger concerns, like Peppers, is a lack of playmaking in college.

He’s not a big hitter against the run unless he’s able to get full steam ahead downhill but he’s a reliable, wrap-up tackler. That was evident even against college football’s best backs like Dalvin Cook. Wraps him up quickly and soundly.

Harvey-Clemons played all over the Cardinals’ defense so you got a feel for his skillset in every aspect. He isn’t an elite athlete but he’s a fluid player whose long strides allow him to cover a lot of ground. In 2015, a year where he picked off three passes, he’s able to locate and pick off this pass deep down the middle.

And here he is in a Cover 2 shell, with a fluid turn to the sideline and finishing the play by playing the pocket and knocking this pass away. Not a tremendous athlete but shows good technique to make up for it.

He’s played deep half, deep middle, box SS, and a true box linebacker, that last role the one I’d want him to do in Pittsburgh. Here’s an example of that.

I think he has the tools to be someone to cover the seam but in the five games I watched, he did have some trouble. Can’t stay in-phase here and ends up being called for pass interference against Jordan Leggett, a type of player he’s going to match up against in the NFL.

He’s a perfect mid-round selection who like Melifonwu, I’d envision as a hybrid safety who will play in the box on third downs and obvious passing situations. And the price tag is obviously much easier to stomach than a guy like Melifonwu (Melifonwu is obviously the better player) so the team can still get their edge/corner in the early rounds.

We’ve profiled most of the obvious hybrid types already: Melifonwu, Harvey-Clemons, and Nate Gerry. I’d have Harvey-Clemons in second place ahead of Gerry. Guy I’m rooting for to see in Pittsburgh.

Projection: Early-Mid Day Three (Late 4th-Mid 5th)

Games Watched: vs Auburn (2015), vs Syracuse, vs Florida State, at Marshall, at Clemson

Previous 2017 NFL Draft Player Profiles
Deshaun WatsonHaason ReddickMarshon LattimoreCorey ClementTim Williams
Jourdan LewisTakkarist McKinleyBrad KaayaNathan PetermanO.J. Howard
Charles HarrisAlvin KamaraTyus BowserDavid NjokuDeMarcus Walker
Chidobe AwuzieDeShone KizerMarlon MackCameron SuttonZach Cunningham
Corey DavisCarl LawsonPatrick MahomesKareem HuntEvan Engram
Derek RiversRyan AndersonJoshua DobbsJordan LeggettSamaje Perine
Corn ElderBucky HodgesJames ConnerCooper KuppStanley Williams
Fred RossJamaal WilliamsGeorge KittleEjuan PriceChris Wormley
Jeremy McNicholsJoe MathisDerek BarnettAmba Etta-TawoGareon Conley
Taco Charlton Elijah McGuireRyan SwitzerTanoh KpassagnonTre’Davious White
Brian HillMatthew DayesDonnel PumphreyJosh ReynoldsNazair Jones
De’Veon SmithDavis WebbObi MelifonwuTJ WattJohn Ross
Jerod EvansVince BiegelJosh CarrawayJosh MaloneKevin King
Fadol BrownChris GodwinNate GerryJordan WillisStacy Coley
Zay JonesJimmie GilbertGlen AntoineTarell BashamDuke Riley
Rayshawn JenkinsChad KellyTrey HendricksonJeremy SprinkleJoe Williams
D’Onta ForemanCarlos WatkinsDamontae KazeWayne GallmanWillie Quinn
Xavier WoodsElijah HoodMalik McDowellDesmond KingSolomon Thomas
Cordrea TankersleySolomon Thomas

About the Author

Alex Kozora

Full-time blogger from mom’s basement. Marrying tape and statistics. Chidi Iwuoma is my favorite Steeler of all-time.

  • Steelers12

    pass as soon as i saw Not an elite athlete and long speed is only average, lack of it can cause him to get beat to the edge by fast backs.

  • Ike Evans

    5 star kid coming out of high school….real talented…liked him since he got kicked out of uga where he played dime linebacker his whole freshman year b4 transitioning to safety…thought hed be better actually but really good player

  • Douglas Andrews

    Like the way he sticks he nose in and makes tackles. The biggest problem I see is in pass coverage. Struggled against TE’s which will be a big problem in the NFL.

  • Spencer Krick

    Plenty of tools to work with, I’d be for it as long as the price isn’t too high. I’d be okay with a 4th round investment, depending on how the first 4 picks go.

  • Alex Kozora

    He’s not elite but that doesn’t mean he’s bad either. They all can’t test like Melifonwu.

  • Steelers12

    yeah i agree but that’s my problem i am enamored with Melifonwu

  • Alex Kozora

    haha well admitting your problem is the first step.

  • Steelers12

    Lol thanks Dr. Kozora

  • Thomas

    He is a poor man’s Obi Melifonwu. Has potential, but needs a lot of work. I would consider him day 3, preferably round 5.

  • Shane Mitchell

    He has been on my radar for awhile I really like him as a player, he would be a much higher rated prospect if not for a few failed drug tests and dismissal from Georgia’s football program where he was a 5 star recruit and one of the best prospects in the country.

    So the question is do we take a chance on a very talented prospect with some off the field issues early in his career? His situation is similar to Martavis Bryant coming out.

  • LucasY59

    I was going to bring up the off field issues as well, if he falls to the 5th because of it he could be a good pick

  • LucasY59

    It is a concern, but if he is a depth guy (most likely a 5th rd pick, expecting more than that out of a player taken that late is asking a lot) then it isnt as bad, and still fills a need if they miss out on Obi, I see him as more of a LB than a S, but if he can rotate in on some plays and be a ST contributor, he would be worth the pick

  • Steelers12

    i agree

  • Alex Kozora

    Worth the risk given the lower investment.

  • Darth Blount 47

    How dare you, Alex. HOW. DARE. YOU. Nate will no longer be accepting your phone calls. There will be no ‘Enchantment Under the Sea’ dance invitation for you. 😉

    (Don’t tell Nate, but I’m intrigued by this kid, too.)

    He didn’t run at the Combine, which was disappointing. And yes, his off-the-field troubles are always concerning. But that arm length is Go-Go Gadget type stuff. And those hands are fairly massive as well. His Vert was really disappointing, much like Nate’s. And his Broad was a bit too, for someone so tall. And man, that Bench number for what was a former LB (12) is borderline terrible. I can do 12 and I’m not an NFL hopeful athlete. I know Punters who do 12. Okay, I’m being harsh lol, but that is more like a CB level. Gotta love that height, though!

    I just don’t think he has the production to stack up. Something just seems off with him. Perhaps it is his troubles and bouncing around. Once you get into the 5th and beyond, these guys are truly just dart throws. So maybe you take him and hit a bullseye by getting him on the field in that hybridized role. I’m not sure. I wouldn’t rule him out or off of my board, but I still have Nate ahead of him. Nate has the production, the strength, the tackling, and the hands. And yes, I’ll be accepting his invitation to the dance. So, HA!

  • Alan Tman

    Lol I think this draft is loaded. Alex Peppers vs. Melifornwu for the Steelers, and why? Could be an awesome article. Rivers vs Watt

  • Andrew

    I feel like drafting a safety early makes a lot of sense this year. Vince seems set to take over as ILB, and while he is a good run stuffer, he struggles in coverage. If we nab Obi, he can easily take that spot on passing downs. He can also be the replacement to Mitchell. I feel like we should look at him or a stud CB if one falls before we go pass rusher in the first. While OLB is the bigger need, we can get a good player in the second still.