Opening day countdowns are great. So are player profiles. Here at Musket Fire, we decided to combine them and create a Week 1 countdown-oriented, jersey number-dictated player profile series. Yesterday we looked at No. 31 Tarell Brown, and the day before that it was No. 32 Devin McCourty. Because today marks 30 days until the New England Patriots open 2015, we are profiling No. 30, safety Duron Harmon.
Selected with the 91st pick in the 2013 NFL Draft, Harmon comes from the Rutgers pipeline of defensive backs that Bill Belichick is so keen on. In his first two seasons, Harmon has appeared in 31 regular season games, totaling 33 tackles, three picks and six passes defended.
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Without a doubt, the highlight of Harmon’s career thus far was his fourth-quarter interception of Joe Flacco that sealed the win for the Patriots in the Divisional Round this January, which he called “the biggest pick of my life.” The Patriots are hoping that Harmon will build on that unforgettable play in 2015.
Before Harmon made that interception, fellow Rutgers product Devin McCourty intercepted a Flacoo pass. The influence and mentoring of McCourty has helped Harmon progress, as Harmon says in this nice piece by Mark Daniels of the Providence Journal:
"I’m just feeling more and more comfortable out here. Each day I just feel more comfortable talking to Dev, being able to really understand the defense. Learning from Devin is truly a blessing. This guy is smart. He’s a talented football player, a smart football player. Being able to really sit under him and learn has definitely helped me."
Hopefully, Harmon takes the lessons from McCourty and ascends into a larger role this season. Without a doubt, this has been Harmon’s best training camp, so he’s off to a good start.
Expect to see Harmon split time with Patrick Chung and Jordan Richards at safety next to McCourty, as the Patriots tend to rotate their strong safeties. Should McCourty go down with injury, then Harmon will most likely step into a starting role.
The all-important Year 3 is upon Harmon. It will be interesting to see how far he’s come since being a wide-eyed rookie in 2013. Hopefully he keeps this kind of thing up:
In case you missed them, here are the profiles for No. 33 Dion Lewis, No. 35 Jonas Gray, No. 36 Tyler Gaffney, No. 37 Jordan Richards, No. 38 Brandon Bolden, No. 39 Travaris Cadet, No. 41 Dekoda Watson, No. 42 Xzavier Dickson, No. 43 Nate Ebner, No. 44 Matthew Wells, No. 45 D.J. Lynch, No. 46 james Develin, No. 47 Michael Hoomanawanui, No. 48 Geneo Grissom, No. 49 Joe Cardona, No. 50 Rob Ninkovich, No. 51 Jerod Mayo, No. 52 Dane Fletcher, No. 53 Eric Martin and No. 54 Dont’a Hightower.