South Jersey’s Two Players Selected in NFL Draft

by Marc Narducci; Photo Marc Narducci | May 3, 2019
South Jersey’s Two Players Selected in NFL Draft
When running back Ryquell Armstead was playing high school football at Millville and Kelvin Harmon was a receiver at Palmyra, both were dominant forces.
They each enjoyed excellent college careers and were rewarded by being selected in the NFL draft.
Armstead, a first-team all-American Athletic Conference selection from Temple, was chosen in the fifth round by the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Harmon, who declared for the draft after his junior season at North Carolina State, was selected in the sixth round by the Washington Redskins. This past season Armstead rushed for 1,098 yards (5.2 avg.) and seven touchdowns, despite missing two games with an ankle injury.
For his career he rushed for 2,812 yards (4.9 avg.) and 34 TDs. He also showed his versatility by playing special teams, and as a senior was occasionally used as a situational pass rusher. He recorded on sack as a senior. In addition, he was an excellent pass protector.
His best game during his senior year was in a 59-49 win at Houston when Armstead rushed for 210 yards and six TDs on 30 carries.
He really helped himself at the NFL Combine where the 5-foot-11, 220-pound Armstead ran a 4.45 40-yard dash.
He has an impressive combination of power and speed. At the combine, he bench pressed 225-pounds 22 times.
As a junior Harmon had 81 receptions for 1,186 yards and seven TDs in earning first-team all-Atlantic Coast Conference honors. Like Armstead, he was invited to the NFL Combine. Harmon ran a 4.6 40, which likely didn’t help his stock, but at 6-2 and 221 pounds he is a physical receiver.
Harmon played 12 games, opting not to play in the NC State’s 51-13 loss to Texas A&M in the Gator Bowl game. He didn’t want to risk injury for the draft.
He was drafted to a team that is in desperate need for receivers.
Pro Football Focus, the highly respected website that rates college and NFL players, wrote this about Harmon: “Washington picked up what could be a big steal in he draft in former NC State wide receiver Kelvin Harmon.”
One other local draft note – the Minnesota selected Alabama tight end Irv Smith Jr. in the second round. Smith is the son of Irv Smith, who starred at Pemberton and Notre Dame before being a first-round draft choice of the New Orleans Saints, No. 20 overall in 1993.
In seven NFL seasons with three teams, Smith caught 183 passes for 1,788 yards and 15 TDs.
This past season Irv Smith, who played high school football in New Orleans, had 44 receptions for 710 yards and seven TDs.
It says here that Irv Smith Jr. will be a major factor with the Vikings, even if it takes a year or two for him to develop.

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Author: Marc Narducci; Photo by Marc Narducci


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