Nick Harris has grown used to hearing people question his size as an offensive linemen.
Harris, who's 6-foot-1, might not measure up to the normal standards of an offensive linemen, but it's never stopped him finding ways to handle tasks against defensive linemen of all sizes. He proved over his college career at Washington that he could still handle the taller tasks of defensive linemen, and the Browns believed his skills could translate well to the NFL level, so they drafted him in the fifth round in 2020.
Now, Harris is set to become the Browns' next starting center as he enters Year 3 in the league. He prepared for the role all offseason by staying in Cleveland completing workouts and, well, eating to become a bigger player.
"I tried this offseason to really take care of my body and change my body composition," he said. "I've trained to gain weight and put on some muscle, so I think going through these practices, I feel a little different and a little heavier. It feels good, and it's good to know that work has paid off."
Harris is expected to become the Browns' next center after the departure of JC Tretter. Even though he has played in only three career games, he's had plenty of first-team experience — Tretter was often a limited participant or didn't participate in practices during the season to take care of his body throughout the grind of a full season.
The Browns believed Harris could eventually step in for Tretter whenever his call came. He's had two years of seasoning to prepare for the full-time role, and after the work he put in with the Browns this offseason, head coach Kevin Stefanski feels even more assured he'll be able to handle duties as a starter.
"I think he has been brought along the right way," Stefanski said. "To his credit, he has done everything we have asked him to do. He is another guy who has worked very, very hard in this building to transform his body, so I'm excited about Nick."
Whatever Harris has previously lacked in size, he's made up for in technique.
But now, Harris is feeling leaner, stronger and prepared to block anyone in the league in his most important season yet.
"Everybody always talks about it," Harris said. "I get it. I'm not 6-4, but it is what it is. I try and learn different tools and techniques to help me with my size. Personally, I don't think it's an issue. My thought process hasn't changed on that at all."
Here's what else you might've missed from Day 6 in Berea.
Check out photos of players and coaches working throughout camp