NFL Draft Profile: Fresno State WR Josh Harper


NFL Draft Profile: Fresno State WR Josh Harper

As part of our coverage leading up to the 2015 NFL Draft we will provide profiles of 200 prospects, including what the scouts around the league are saying and video interviews with each player.

Josh Harper (WR), Fresno State

6’1” | 191 lbs.

2014 stats:

90 rec, 1097 yards, 7 TD


5th-6th round

What scouts are saying:

"Long-waisted wide receiver who is quicker than fast. Harper was a possession receiver at Fresno State and NFL cornerbacks will likely press him to make him win at the line of scrimmage. With work on his routes, Harper has the feet, body control and hands to get open and become a viable NFL target. His ability to make plays after the catch will improve his draft stock." -'s Lance Zierlein

"Intriguing athlete who emerged as a stronger, more disciplined player the past two seasons. Accelerates well and does a nice job mixing gears, turning on the jets with smooth strides to gain a step vertically and stretch the field. He has a quick burst off the snap and can stick his foot in the turf and explode out of his cuts to gain separation. Good hand-eye coordination to extend for the difficult reception away from his frame and shows some toughness in hanging on after absorbing the big hit. Uses his broad shoulders to effectively seal defenders away from the ball on slants." - CBS Sports' Dane Brugler and Rob Rang

"Lean limbed with limited power, which makes him unreliable in jump-ball situations and as a blocker. Inconsistent with his timing to win at the catch-point, too often losing out to shorter defenders on 50-50 balls. Some wasted movement as a route-runner and after he catches the pass. Dances too much trying to make defenders miss with rather than burrowing his head and getting what he can. Only average balance to run through arm tackles. Struggled with injuries over his first two playing seasons at Fresno State after redshirting in 2010. Missed a total of eight games in 2011-12 with various injuries, including a sports hernia, hamstring and undisclosed foot injury." - CBS Sports' Dane Brugler and Rob Rang

Fit for the Bears:

He's not going to make anyone forget about Brandon Marshall, but Green Bay's Davante Adams proved a year ago that Fresno State wide receivers can live up to the hype even though they're not from Power 6 schools. The key with Harper, according to the above scouts, was that he continued to grow as a player, physically and mentally. That could be good for a Bears team that likely won't be contending this season. He could learn a thing or two from Alshon Jeffery and Eddie Royal. That being said, if the Bears go with Amari Cooper or Kevin White at No. 7 this won't be a need in the middle rounds.

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Bears logo ranked in bottom five of NFL in recent fan poll

USA Today

Bears logo ranked in bottom five of NFL in recent fan poll

The Chicago Bears logo has withstood the test of time. In a sports era full of uniform changes, the Bears have maintained the classic orange 'C' for most of their nearly 100 years in Chicago.

Unfortunately, tradition doesn't equate to popularity.

Chicago's logo ranked 28th in the NFL, according to a recent poll of nearly 1,500 football fans. Only the Redskins (29), Bengals (30), Jets (31) and Browns (32) were worse.

I’m not sure how I feel about the underbite on the “C.” I can see how this would be a polarizing feature of this logo. I wish to an extent that it met up more evenly. I think they could have had the bottom meet up in a more even fashion and still maintained the sharpness, of the “C,” which I like. I don’t mind the point [ON THE BACK SIDE OF THE “C”], without the point it would be super boring. The point actually does add something from a design standpoint that makes it stand out.

Bears fans will take exception with the results. Wins have been hard to come by in recent seasons, but there's still something special about seeing the familiar navy and orange on Sundays in the fall. The 'C' is arguably the biggest part of that. Sure, it's not a complex design overflowing with colors, but it represents a long and storied history. 

It's interesting that each of the bottom five teams have struggled to string together winning seasons. On the flipside, teams like the Saints, Falcons, Rams, Vikings and Eagles rank in the top six. Maybe it's recency bias.

In the NFC North, the Lions rank No. 2 (which is a shocker) and the Packers are No. 20. 

Matt Nagy calls Kevin White a 'great weapon' with a new future

Matt Nagy calls Kevin White a 'great weapon' with a new future

Former first-round pick Kevin White hasn't caught a break -- or a touchdown -- through the first three years of his career. He has more season-ending injuries than 100-yard games and after an offseason focused on upgrades at wide receiver, White's future in Chicago beyond 2018 is very much in doubt.

Ryan Pace declined the fifth-year option in White's rookie contract, making this a prove-it year for the pass-catcher who once resembled a blend of Larry Fitzgerald and Dez Bryant during his time at West Virginia.

He's getting a fresh start from new coach Matt Nagy.

"He is healthy and he's really doing well," Nagy told Danny Kanell and Steve Torre Friday on SiriusXM's Dog Days Sports. "We're trying to keep him at one position right now so he can focus in on that."

White can't take all the blame for his 21 catches, 193 yards and zero scores through 48 possible games. He's only suited up for five. Whether it's bad luck or bad bone density, White hasn't had a legitimate chance to prove, on the field, that he belongs.

Nagy's looking forward, not backward, when it comes to 2015's seventh pick overall.

"That's gone, that's in the past," Nagy said of White's first three years. "This kid has a new future with us."

White won't be handed a job, however.

"He's gotta work for it, he's gotta put in the time and effort to do it," Nagy said. "But he will do that, he's been doing it. He's a great weapon, he's worked really hard. He has great size, good speed. We just want him to play football and not worry about anything else."