Maurice Harris is one of 13 wide receivers on the Redskins' roster. He understands he'll need to impress as a college free agent to earn a roster spot over some of the veterans.
Maurice Harris knows the odds are stacked against him, but he's doing everything he can to earn a roster spot at perhaps the Redskins' most loaded position.
The Washington Redskins signed 15 college free agents shortly after the 2016 NFL Draft. Take a look at who they are.
Harris – a 6-foot-3, 200-pound wide receiver out of Cal – is one of 13 wide receivers on Washington's 90-man roster and one of seven rookie college free agents.
With DeSean Jackson, Pierre Garçon, Jamison Crowder, Rashad Ross and Ryan Grant all returning along with first-round pick Josh Doctson on the roster, Harris may be on the outside looking in for a final roster call.
But he has flashed some at camp and has even worked with the first-team offense on occasion.
"The main thing is knowing the playbook," Harris said of his early NFL transition. "You know, if you don't know the playbook you can't play, so just standing on top of me about knowing the plays and knowing what I have to do and being prepared."
Being in an NFL style offense helped make the learning curve a little bit less daunting to tackle, too.
"It hasn't been too bad," Harris said. "My first couple years at Cal, we had [head coach] Jeff Tedford. We ran a pro styled offense so kind of similar, just a few things different. Maybe some terminology stuff and everything like that so I've been picking up on it pretty good."
Harris' college numbers hardly stand out, as he recorded just north of 1,000 receiving yards and 10 touchdowns in four seasons.
While the Greensboro, N.C., native's receiving skills are still developing, he believes he can be an instant contributor in at least one area.
"Special teams," Harris said of where he wants to impress. "Just trying to find my way on special teams, because like you said, there's a lot of receivers working hard and trying to find my way on the team."
If he is, however, called upon to play receiver on the active roster, he'll step in as a reliable target for Kirk Cousins.
Harris worked with NFL-ready talent at Cal, including 2016 No. 1-overall pick Jared Goff.
"You know, both quarterbacks are really good," Harris said. "Kirk, he's awesome. He's very smart, knows what he's doing, he's a really good quarterback. Jared's also good, I expect a lot out of good things out of him this year."