So I'm going to go out on a limb and call San Francisco 49ers right tackle Kwame Harris one of the bigger whipping boys here at Niners Nation. Try not too look to stunned at that pronouncement. As a former first round pick, while he's shown solid talent as a run blocker, we seem to have come to a general consensus that he has been a bust overall primarily due to his inadequacies in the passing game. He certainly hasn't turned into an anchor on the right side of the offensive line by any stretch of the imagination.
However, the easy route right now is to bash the guy. I think it's safe to say that he is not going to be around much longer as the team has drafted a guy that could replace him, or at the very least, force Jonas Jennings back over to right tackle. With Kwame's time relatively short, I decided to look back at the scouting reports and try and better understand a guy who has never caught on, both on the field and as a fan favorite.
I was inspired in part by an article in the Chronicle on Sunday about Harris's battle for his own job with the team's drafting of Joe Staley. The article emphasized how Kwame is a nice guy who might just need to get a little meaner if he wants to fight off Staley.
"He's going to continue to push me," Harris said of Joltin' Joe Staley, drafted No. 28 in the first round. "He also provides us with good depth. I have nothing bad to say about him."
Maybe Harris should spit contemptuously on the carpet and snarl, "Like hell some rook is going to come in here and push me aside without a fight. Bring it on, dude. Let's see what this hayseed from Central Wherever has. That's what I'm talkin' about!"
Clearly, Kwame Harris is no Larry Allen in regards to bringing some of the mean to the table. When the 49ers drafted him, I was a little worried about a guy who was big into music and a general renaissance man. While I'm glad he has other talents outside of football, I wonder if these outside interests might cause a lack of intensity? Is there a reason he's just a gregarious, happy, nice guy?
In looking back at scouting reports and grades before and after the draft, a couple of things popped out at me. When Len Pasquarelli graded each team he mentioned that, "...Harris doesn't really have the quick feet some people assume he does, nor if he especially tough. There's an upside to him but it might hurt Harris to force him too soon." Over at Sports News Canada (bless Google for the random sites I can find), "Doesn't have a mean streak and won't pop people out of his stance."
Clearly some team will overpay as the Cowboys probably did with another underperforming offensive lineman, Leonard Davis. All reports indicate Kwame is having a solid camp. Does Kwame last the entire year as a starter? His competition would be boils down to Joe Staley and Adam Snyder. While many people want to move past Kwame, he's hear this year and if he has a decent year, it only helps our depth.
How does everyone else see this season going down at the right tackle position? Does Kwame show just enough to hold onto his job, or do Snyder or Staley make their presence felt? While I'd love to see Staley in the starting lineup at some point, I have no problem being patient and letting him learn from the veterans on the line. On the other hand, I think barring injury we could see a nice little rotation develop with Snyder and Harris. Hopefully both are effective.
EDITOR'S NOTE - I'll be getting an obscenely early start to get down to Santa Clara for for camp tomorrow, so I don't think I'll be getting a link dump up (I won't have a computer with me). Feel free to throw something up amongst yourselves and I'll be back tomorrow early evening with a wrap up of my day down at 4949 Centennial Boulevard. See you then.
EDITOR'S NOTE #2 - So my birthday is coming up next Sunday and I got a Wii for said birthday. Simply unbelievable I must say. I just played the tennis and the bowling games and you can definitely get a work out from it. I highly recommend it if you get a chance to get one. I'm curious to see how Madden plays on it.