The Chargers own the longest current streak of 15 consecutive years that at least one of their undrafted free agent signings has made the 53-man roster out of training camp. At this point in time, it's looking as though the most likely man to continue that tradition is the left tackle out of UCLA, Mike Harris. At 6-5, 310 pounds and a 6-9 wingspan, Harris is built like a prototypical NFL left tackle and reports are that he has the necessary quickness as well.
It would certainly be encouraging to see a standout rookie at offensive tackle since it was widely considered a position of need going into the draft and the Chargers did very little to address that need in the eyes of most draft "experts." Harris is off to a good start and Chargers fans can only hope that these are the kind of stories we get out of training camp this year.
With Jared Gaither currently sidelined due to back spasms, the rookie Harris has been taking first team reps over the veteran Mario Henderson whom the Chargers signed this off season. It's clear the coaches saw something in him to give him that opportunity and he didn't disappoint, holding his own against the first team defense. From Scott Bair of the North County Times:
"Harris has played both tackles, and it's clear that he's a sharp guy," Turner said. "He picked things up fast. He had some things he had to work on when he left in June, and he worked hard to fix some problem areas. He's gotten our attention, and he's certainly doing a good job."
Interestingly, the UT's Michael Gehlken and Kevin Acee wrote a column last Tuesday handicapping the Chargers' rookie free agents and Harris' name was not mentioned. Yesterday, however, Acee seemed convinced, tweeting that Harris was the best story of camp and that he makes the team "no doubt." It's funny how much can change in a week.