Mark Harrison is the biggest and tallest receiver on the Chiefs’ training camp roster.
Harrison — a 6-foot-3, 230-pound wideout from Rutgers who spent last season on the New England Patriots’ reserve/non-football injury list — also has shown flashes of playmaking potential down the field for an offense that could use more of a vertical threat.
“I’ve known Mark since high school because we’re both from Connecticut, so we competed and stuff like that,” said cornerback Marcus Cooper, who also played with Harrison at Rutgers. “He’s a freak. He’s got that big body, but he’s got a lot of speed too. He’s definitely a guy with a special kind of talent.”
Harrison has used that size and strength several times to outleap defensive backs along the sideline, and also has shown an ability to snare passes in traffic during the Chiefs’ padded practices.
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“That’s the only way you’re going to make the team is making plays, being aggressive with the ball and having that knack to go up and get it,” Harrison said. “You’ve got to be able to concentrate and lock in on every play out there.”
Of course, wide receiver is arguably the most competitive position group at Chiefs training camp, so earning a spot on the 53-man roster won’t be easy for Harrison.
Harrison originally signed with the Chicago Bears as an undrafted free agent in 2013 before landing with the Patriots, who cut him in June when he was late for offseason training.
He’s hoping to make the most of this new opportunity.
“I’m definitely excited about the progress that’s been going on and the development of my game,” Harrison said. “I’m never satisfied, though. There’s always room for improvement day-by-day, learning the system and getting comfortable with yourself out there and being confident.”
Harrison said he’s paying close attention to and taking cues from veterans Dwayne Bowe and Donnie Avery, players he considers the leaders of the wide-receiver group.
He also feels an added degree of comfort with Cooper’s presence in camp, along with another former Scarlet Knight, cornerback Brandon Jones.
“It’s a good feeling to be out there with guys you know, guys you can go in the locker room and give them a little nudge if you go up top on them or they pick you,” Harrison said. “It makes it fun.”