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Film Review: Ohio State DE Zach Harrison brings relentless effort

The senior Buckeye is a polished defender ready for the next level.

Syndication: The Columbus Dispatch Adam Cairns/Columbus Dispatch / USA TODAY NETWORK

There are 54 active NFL players who represent Ohio State, which is third behind Alabama and LSU. The Buckeyes have consistently been one of the best collegiate football programs in the country and have always been recognized as an NFL factory, including three of their alumni chosen as the No. 1 overall pick.

None of the 54 active NFL players from Ohio State are on the Kansas City Chiefs' roster. But the Chiefs could be dipping into the Buckeyes' defensive end pool come draft day.

Defensive end Zach Harrison

One of the senior leaders on the 2022 Ohio State football team is Zach Harrison, who has been a staple of the defense in Columbus, Ohio, since 2019. While he doesn't have eye-popping statistics, he has NFL size at 6 feet 6 and weighs in at 272 pounds. Chiefs defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo prefers bigger-bodied defensive ends, and Harrison fits right into that mold.

Harrison is on track to have career numbers in every major statistical category so far in 2022 and has even notched his first career interception against Penn State earlier this season. Harrison's length and measurables will push him toward some first-round buzz, but his lack of production may hold him back from breaking into the top 32. Only time will tell, but at the least, he should be a safe Day 2 pick who has a chance to be an early contributor.

You can check out Harrison live in action on Saturday, November 26, as Ohio State hosts bitter rival Michigan for a marquee top-five matchup. The game time is 11 a.m. Arrowhead Time, and it will be broadcast on FOX.

Let's go to the film:

We see a stunt attempt from the Ohio State defense with Harrison (No. 9) coming from the 7-technique to the A-gap. It looks as though Harrison has a clean shot to the quarterback, but the left guard can get enough to slow him down. You can see the quarterback bail out of the pocket, but I would like to see a little more violent intent from Harrison and not get so affected by minimal contact. Overall, it is a nice rep, as we see his agility and energy as he attempts to run down the play.

Harrison squeezes down as he reads the mesh, and we see his explosiveness once he processes who has the ball. The opposing quarterback has little time to make a throw once Harrison is in pursuit, closing the gap quickly.

This rep looks like a drill straight from the NFL Combine. We see Harrison read the toss and change direction to chase down the ball carrier. Harrison can get his foot in the ground, turn his shoulders and hips effectively and finish the play with a nice hit on the back.

The running back is tasked with blocking Harrison one-on-one here, and Harrison can maintain his balance after the back attempts to chop him down at the thigh. Harrison tracks down the quarterback and fiercely finishes the play with a sack showing his motor.

Harrison can make a play in the run game here, which is something the Chiefs would appreciate coming from the defensive line. Harrison scrapes down the line of scrimmage while fighting through the block and gaining leverage. He gets his off-arm free to make the tackle for a minimal gain.

Harrison isn't able to finish with a sack, but he does cause pressure, which forces the quarterback to scramble out. The senior Buckeye gives a little jab step inside before ripping through the outside. The tools are there for Harrison to be successful on Sundays.

We see Harrison here peeling off his pass rush to stay stride-for-stride with the running back flaring out of the backfield. This will not show up in a stat book, but it is an impressively athletic play from the big man who does not appear to be a liability in space.

Harrison again can scrape down the line after getting into his blocker and forcing his way into leverage. His effort pays off again as he joins the crowd of Buckeyes, taking down the ball carrier. It is so important to see these little things being done and usually translates well to success at the next level.

This rep doesn't end with any fireworks, either, but it is a nice rep for a film study.

Harrison is a focal point of the blocking scheme here with an offset tight end and left tackle responsible for keeping him out of the pocket. He displays a nasty swim to rapidly evade the tight end before busting out a spin move on the left tackle. The latter wasn't as effective as the swim, but he can get after the quarterback with many maneuvers.

The bottom line

The contract of Carlos Dunlap is set to expire at the end of this season, and Frank Clark could also be on the way out following 2022. The Chiefs took defensive end George Karlaftis with one of their first-round picks last year, but looking at the first three rounds for another end could prove wise.

Kansas City will most likely be selecting somewhere on the back end of the draft. Harrison fits into what the Chiefs like to do with their defensive ends, but whether or not the dominos fall the correct way won't be known for a long time.

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