Ant Harris will get his shot at the NFL. While the L.C. Bird alumnus and former UVa safety was not selected in this past weekend’s NFL Draft- he was signed by the Minnesota Vikings in the frenzy of free agents signings that occur after the draft ends.
“Proud to say my next home will be in Minnesota #GoVikings,” Harris said via his twitter account.
Most mock drafts had Harris going between the fifth and seventh rounds, but getting drafted really only effects how much you stand to get paid through your initial rookie contract in the NFL, with the most money comes in the first three rounds. From a football perspective, Harris has the same chance as any other rookie or player to make Minnesota’s opening roster. While many were disappointed that he wasn’t drafted, Harris will turn to a strong work ethic to propel him into the league.
Harris would join Doug Chapman and Jason Snelling as the third Skyhawk in L.C. Bird’s long history to make the NFL should he make the Vikings roster and appear in a game.
The defensive back burst onto the scene in his junior season, leading the nation with eight interceptions. Harris registered 108 tackles in his senior year, and averaged 91 tackles in the last three seasons of his football career. His influence in helping a talented Quin Blanding to a monster freshman season was noticed by UVa Head Coach Mike London.
NFL.com gave Harris a pre-draft rating of 5.51 which on their scale equates to “has a chance at becoming an NFL starter.” Harris is considered small for his position, and doesn’t possess the bulk needed to ‘survive over the middle.’ At the University of Virginia, he was a playmaker totaling 10 interceptions and 26 pass break-ups in his junior and senior seasons. Harris was certainly durable as well- not missing a single game due to injury.
Offseason workouts begin for the Minnesota Vikings on May 26, where Harris will start his journey to play on Sundays in the National Football League.