However, consistently is able to put himself around the football and tackle the ball carrier. Exhibits good instincts when asked to pick his way down the line, fill run lanes and diagnose the play. However, lacks the initial burst to consistently chase speed from sideline-to-sideline. Will see his angles outrun and is tight hipped trying to quickly redirect and get out of his breaks.
Lacks ideal power at the point of attack as well and initially can be driven off the football. But does a nice job playing with leverage, extending his arms in order to shed and can fend off a block and wrap up on the ball carrier running off his frame. Nevertheless, most of his tackles come about 5 yards-plus down the field.
Is tight in the hips in pass protection. Will open up too early, struggles to quickly redirect and will give up separation in man. However, he is pretty savvy, knows how to use his hands to stay with receivers out of their breaks and can get away with it. But, his athletic skill set doesn't bode well for his chances of holding up in man in the NFL.
Is much better suited to play zone, where he gets only decent depth in his drop, but keeps his feet under him, reads his pass keys quickly and can close on the football. Is a physical striker when asked to disengage the ball from man, but possesses only average range in space.
Impression: A tough overachiever who isn't worth a draft pick, but knows how to tackle, has good instincts and has been really productive as a senior. His size/speed numbers hurt his chances, but will get a shot in an NFL training camp to make a team on special teams and as a fifth linebacker."
He was just a two star recruit, and ended up at Marshall in the weak Conference USA, but he made a name for himself after starting for three seasons in the middle of the Marshall defense.
When you think of a 250 pound football player, you don’t immediately think of the word “fast”. But Harvey has been clocked unofficially at 4.35 in the forty yard dash. Unfortunately he wasn’t invited to the NFL Combine to see if that’s true, and I doubt he’s that fast. But still, even if he runs a 4.50 or 4.55 at the least, that goes a long way. Harvey is a big hitter who moves well sideline to sideline and is a sure tackler. He can make plays in space, and he isn’t afraid to get into traffic and make a play on the ball carrier. He’s a head hunter and a reliable defensive leader who will find a home with one lucky team in the NFL. He posted eight double digit tackles in 2010, including 16.5 tackles for loss. He has great instincts and has a knack for finding the football.
Harvey’s lack of height will hurt as he’s just around 5’11. When you look at a prototypical middle linebacker, you want to see 6’2-6’4 and 250-260. Harvey plays a bit stiff in coverage and doesn’t have very good change of direction skills. His short term burst is adequate but not great, and his “4.35 forty yard dash” speed only goes so far when playing middle linebacker. He is not much of a blitzing linebacker as he makes most of his plays behind the line because of his great instincts. He isn’t the strongest player and sometimes struggles to get off of blocks.
I’m a bit higher on Harvey than most, but I think he could end up in the third round because of his speed and tackling ability. However, the fourth round is ideal for Harvey with the fifth round being his floor to be drafted. Teams like Houston, Cleveland, Arizona, Detroit, Miami, St. Louis, and Jacksonville will all take a hard look at Harvey in the middle rounds.
NFL Comparison: London Fletcher "
Negatives: Is a little short for the inside linebacker position... Does not appear to be very fast in short bursts or especially quick, could possibly benefit from losing some bulk to increase speed... Looks a little stiff, flexibility and change-of-direction abilities are below average... Does not look great in coverage, has limited range... Can be overaggressive when taking on blockers and takes himself out of plays on occasion... Does not fit very well in a cover two system because of height and lack of elite coverage skills."
Strengths: Plays low in his pads, and has cunning instincts. Plenty of upside, and excellent strength for a Mike LB. Played well at both positions in college. Sack artist, recorded multiple sacks in 3 games this season.
Weaknesses: Extremely raw. Most of his talents are built on instinct and physical prowess, rather than knowledge of the game. A liability in the passing game, doesn't rate high in pass defense awareness. Best fit for the 3-4 defense.
Projection: Projecting Mario as an undrafted free agent. If he performs well at the combine and senior bowl, he might peak the 7th round."
As an upperclassman Harvey kept putting up impressive numbers. In 2009 he led the team with 117 tackles and added 8.5 tackles-for-loss and 7.0 sacks. Harvey also saved a great game for Marshall's bowl win over Ohio in the Little Caesars Pizza Bowl when he tallied 12 tackles and two sacks. Unfortunately that will be Harvey's last bowl appearance as the Thundering Herd will not make a bowl game in 2010. Despite the disappointing season for the team, Harvey has had another stellar season and leads the team with 122 tackles through 11 games. He has even been let loose a little more in the backfield and has 14.5 tackles-for-loss and 6.5 sacks.
Harvey uses his big 6-0, 250 pound frame to lay out some big hits. He has good instincts and more than enough strength. If he can run a decent 40 time leading up to the draft, Harvey could sneak into the third or fourth round. However, his lack of speed will limit him to the inside linebacker position where his pass rushing skills will only come in handy in certain situations."
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