Jonny Harline   TE   BYU

 

STRENGTHS 

Jon is a very athletic, pass-catching TE.  He has excellent body control to adjust to the ball in the air and excellent hands to snare the ball out of the air.  Jon runs good routes and can be used as a slot receiver and in certain situations.  Jon is a solid blocker and plays bigger than his size because of his upper body bulk.  He is very smart and understands situational football.  Although Jonny might not be a true in-line blocking TE, his value as a pass catching TE/H-Back will give many teams nightmares in trying to deal with him and the QB that is lucky enough to have his team draft him.  Jonny reminds me of Sterling Sharpe, former WR for the Green Bay Packers.  He has Sterling’s mental strength, athletic pass-catching talents and bull- like receiving qualities. 

 

NEEDS TO IMPROVE

Jon is not a true TE because he is too valuable in the passing game.  Jon is an R-Back or, as I like to call him, a Receiver-Back.

 

TALENT BOARD ROUND: 2

Right now, the New England Patriots are the only team making use of talents similar to Jon’s.  Dave Thomas, Ben Watson, Daniel Graham are all the same type of TE as Jon.  We usually call this type of player an H-Back; however, the problem is that all of these players catch the ball down the field so well that they are more of a hybrid WR instead of a hybrid TE.  Jon talents are more WR in nature because of his speed and hands, but he is a powerful receiver once he catches the ball.  I remember the Sharpe brothers; they were the first to redefine the TE position because they were so good at catching the ball down the field.  Sterling was a better blocker and a more powerful receiver, but Shannon was a better route runner and although less powerful, did a good job blocking.  Jon is the type of kid that can be an excellent slot receiver because he is a load to handle in the passing game and can block in space for the running game.  Most safeties and LB’s will have a hard time handling Jon in the passing game because of his athleticism and when you set him out wide, the CB’s are just not going to be able to handle his size or quickness.  Jon is the new breed of H-Back -– I call them R-Backs or Receiver-Backs.  Because of their size, quickness and ability to catch a pass down the field like a WR, they are nightmare match-ups.  As soon as the offensive coordinators get smart and realize this, you are going to see more of this style of player move up the boards and be picked more in the first round of a draft.  Vernon Davis was taken early last year because of his speed, but he sometimes struggles catching the ball down the field.  Jon might not have the speed Vernon has, but he does have much better hands to catch the ball down the field.  Jonny Harline will be a hell of an R-Back for the team that drafts him -- if they are smart enough to use him that way!

Drew Boylhart

January/2007