This is the eighth in a series of film breakdowns of players that the Dolphins could take early in this weekend’s draft.
Part 1: Haason Reddick.
Part 2: Jordan Willis.
Part 3: Forrest Lamp.
Never miss a local story.
Part 4: Taco Charlton.
Part 5: Reuben Foster.
Part 6: Jabrill Peppers.
Part 7: Chidobe Awuzie.
Charles Harris had enough. Kansas City can be a rough town, and as a middle schooler, he took his fair share of guff.
So he laced them up and fought back. Literally.
Harris, the defensive end from Missouri expected to go in the Round 1 of Thursday’s draft, took up boxing at his neighborhood YMCA, he told the Kansas City Star.
He’s been delivering haymakers ever since.
Harris is on a very short list of rush ends the Dolphins covet with the 22nd pick, and the toughness he showed as a kid is a big reason why.
At 253 pounds, Harris is built more like a linebacker that a defensive lineman. But that didn’t stop him from tallying 30.5 tackles for loss in his last two years on campus.
A big reason why? His good — no, great, Harris corrected at the NFL Scouting Combine — first step.
“I got here by sacking the quarterback,” Harris said. “That's not a secret. So I feel like most teams are gonna play me how I'm supposed to get played. That's me getting the quarterback. Me covering when I need to cover. When it's necessary, me playing special teams. Things like that. I'm big, I'm athletic, I can move. So really using my how I'm supposed to be used.”
Athletic, yes. But not a top-5 athlete, if his disappointing Combine performance is to be believed. Still, Harris usually got to where he needed to be on the field, even if he does have limitations, as Dolphins blogger Max Himmelrich found when he broke down the tape.
Weight: 253 pounds.
Arm length: 32 3/8 inches.
Hands: 9 5/8 inches.
40 time: 4.42 seconds.
Bench press: 21 reps.
Vertical jump: 32 inches.
Broad jump: 109 inches.
Three-cone drill: 7.47 seconds.
20-yard shuffle: 4.32 seconds.
60-yard shuffle: 12.48 seconds.
SPARQ score: 118.6, 47.1st percentile, t-24th among draft-eligible edge rushers.
Pros: Charles Harris does have a strong first step -- he shows very good quickness off of the line. He can use that quickness to beat interior players on stunts or different alignments when moved inside. Harris also has a strong set of tools he can use to be a difference maker early on. (Ian Wharton's draft guide has Harris as his DE with the best hand usage in this class.)
Cons: The aforementioned ability to contribute early on could be the ceiling for Harris; his performance in Indy at the scouting combine shows some limitations. In addition to struggling in athletic testing, Harris shows some trouble with decision making when asked to read plays. He bit on the read option several times against Tennessee's Josh Dobbs.
Fit for the Dolphins: Charles Harris does seem to have the skill set required to succeed as a 4-3 DE in the NFL. However, my personal preference for the team's sake would be to see them opt for a defensive lineman with higher upside. Once again, the goal is not simply to add a contributor; it's to replace a proven star pass rusher in Cameron Wake. I believe that UCLA's Takkarist McKinley would be a better option to step into that role.
Teams might get a better initial impact from Charles Harris, but his combine outing leaves questions as to how high he can push his ceiling at the next level. I'm not the biggest fan of Harris' tape, however I'm uniquely low on him as a prospect; a ton of people I trust very much as talent evaluators really like him, which leads me to believe he's somewhere in between. He's far from the worst option for the Dolphins, and he would be able to contribute, but I tend to lean towards higher upside options.