By Steve Breazeale
Sean Harlow and his family were settling in to watch the second day of the 2017 NFL Draft coverage when his phone started buzzing. The area code registered on his phone as a number from Georgia.
When Harlow answered, Atlanta Falcon’s general manager Thomas Dimitroff was on the other line.
The Falcons selected Harlow, a versatile offensive lineman and San Clemente native, with the 136th overall pick in the fourth round of the NFL Draft on April 29.
“I’m just really excited to get out there,” Harlow, who played four years at Oregon State University, said. “The Falcons are a great organization and a great team. They seem like they have a real great brotherhood of players.”
Harlow was the lone offensive lineman the Falcons drafted this year, and he will join a strong, veteran group that paved the way for a high-powered offense that appeared in Super Bowl LI.
“It’s a great opportunity and I’m excited to get in that room and learn from those guys,” Harlow said. “They’re a highly thought of offensive line and they’ll be great role models and people to learn from.”
Harlow, who stands at 6-feet-4-inches and weighs 303 pounds, started 37 games at either left or right tackle for the Beavers, but he said the Falcons want to move him to the guard position at the professional level. The team’s right guard spot is currently open for competition and Harlow has experience playing the position, having practiced at guard for Oregon State in spring and fall camp practices over the years.
“I thought I’d have to (switch positions) in college and move to guard or center out of high school. (Guard) will be a more natural spot for me as far as my size and abilities,” Harlow said.
Harlow arrived on campus at Oregon State as a highly-recruited prospect after earning All-CIF, All-County and All-League honors at San Clemente High School. He started in the Beaver’s fourth game of the year as a freshman and remained an impact player in Corvallis over the next three years.
A leg injury suffered during his junior season cost him five games, but he returned to play the final nine games of his senior season and earn second-team All-Pac-12 honors. Harlow was named a team captain his senior year.
As the son of former NFL veteran Pat Harlow, Sean has a professional pedigree. Pat was a standout offensive lineman at USC, was selected No. 11 overall in the 1991 NFL Draft, and played for the New England Patriots (1991-95) and Oakland Raiders (1996-98).