JBB Draft Profile: Josh Harper, WR, Fresno State – A Familiar Face for Carr

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September 20, 2014; Fresno, CA, USA; Fresno State Bulldogs wide receiver Josh Harper (3) catches a touchdown pass against Southern Utah Thunderbirds defensive back LeShaun Sims (36) during the first half at Bulldog Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports


Various draft scouting services and “gurus” have Harper ranked at vastly different spots. Both CBS Sports and NFLDraftScout.com have Harper projected as a 2nd round pick, with the former ranking him as the 7th best wide receiver prospect in next years’ draft. WalterFootball.com, meanwhile, has him ranked as the 28th receiver in the draft, and project him as being a selection in the 4th through 6th round of the draft. Obviously there is still a lot of time left in the college season, and pro days and scouting combines yet t come, and that will determine his draft stock and draft status ahead of the April draft. But Harper could very likely not play in a bowl game this year, and Fresno State’s remaining Mountain West Schedule aren’t exactly marquee matchups, so Harper may slip simply due to lack of exposure and attention and lack of conference respect. This could very well put him in range for the Raiders to take at the top of the 4th round.

With more glaring needs on the team than wide receiver, the Raiders should not reach in the first three rounds to take Josh Harper or any other receiver in this draft.  But early in the 4th, somewhere around the 100th overall pick, Harper could very well be left on the board, and he would be perhaps the best playmaker on the boards at that point.  That, combined with his experience with Derek Carr, make him a very valuable pick for the Raiders. Combining a young franchise quarterback with a college teammate is not a far-fetched idea. The Colts did it in 2012, taking TE Colby Fleener in the 2nd round of that draft to pair with his college teammate Andrew Luck. Harper and Carr did great things together in college, and while they probably won’t turn into the next Young-Rice or Manning-Harrison if paired together in the pros, Harper’s familiarity with Carr and his speed and skill set could help the Raiders improve the wide receiver group without sacrificing a pick that can be used on a much greater need.