Let's continue our series of player-by-player profiles of the New York Giants 90-man roster by looking at Kenneth Harper, an undrafted free agent running back from Temple.
2014 Season in Review
The 5-foot-10, 223-pound Harper carried the ball just 87 times for 305 yards (3.5 yards per carry) while playing his final season with the Temple Owls. He did have five touchdowns and caught 27 passes. In two seasons at Temple, Harper carried 223 times for 920 yards (4.1 per carry), with 14 touchdowns and 53 pass receptions. Harper a team captain as a senior at Temple.
2015 Season Outlook
The Giants signed Harper after he impressed during a tryout at rookie mini-camp. At this point in time, Harper would appear to be low man on the totem pole when it comes to the depth chart. Can he change that?
Here is the TFY Draft Insider scouting report on Harper:
Positive: Well-sized ballcarrier best on the inside. Has some quickness, will pick or choose his spots and squeezes through the small openings of the offensive line. Resilient, grinds it out on the inside and picks up the difficult yardage. Patiently waits for blocks develop, finds the running lanes and displays a burst through the hole. Keeps his feet moving on contact picking yardage off initial contact or even moving the pile. Effective in pass protection, squaring into defenders then meeting them head-on. Flashes skill as a receiver out of the backfield.
Negative: More of a straight-line/downhill runner and loses momentum altering running angles. One speed back and cannot beat defenders into the open field. Lacks the speed to turn the corner.
Analysis: Harper was a consistent player at Temple and could make a roster as the third back for a run oriented offense.
The biggest issue Harper faces is the competition in front of him. Rashad Jennings, Andre Williams and Shane Vereen have three spots locked up, assuming they are healthy. Orleans Darkwa has the advantage of having been a Giant last year. Akeem Hunt was signed as a priority free agent.
Harper did not stand out during OTAs the media had access to. He need to change that during min-camp and training camp if he is going to have a chance to stick around this season.