Defensive lineman Orien Harris was Pittsburgh’s gift to the Browns.
The Steelers drafted the University of Miami (Fla.) defensive tackle fairly high in 2006 at No. 133 overall. However, Harris did not make the regular roster, instead being relegated to Pittsburgh’s practice squad. That left him susceptible to a raid by the Browns, who relocated him by giving up a spot on their 53-man roster in December.
Harris doesn’t like to talk about it.
“I’m just blessed the Browns gave me a chance,” he said after Thursday’s training camp practice. “That’s it.”
Harris is trying to jump from the fourth round of last year’s draft to a meaningful role on his second NFL team as a 3-4 defensive end.
“I don’t get impatient,” he said. “It’s a process. When my number’s called, I’ll be ready.”
Harris might be a key man if Orpheus Roye can’t make a speedy return from Thursday’s arthroscopic knee surgery, which the team said went well.
With age and depth issues on the defensive line and next year’s first-round pick lost in the Brady Quinn deal, the Browns sorely need a young lineman to emerge. The 6-foot-3, 300-pound Harris is an intriguing candidate.
After he made 34 starts for Miami, a predraft scouting report posted on nfl.com said:
“Harris was a frustrating player to grade because he no doubt has the athletic ability, natural strength and competitiveness to be a good NFL starter, but he does not produce at the level he is capable of.
“Despite flashing ability to consistently get backfield penetration and make plays, he has a tendency to get upright. In most games graded, he was only involved in three or four plays per game.
“Teams should be careful not to over-draft him. He will look like a first-day pick. However, his overall production is very inconsistent.”