Dolphins first-round pick Harris talks about coming to Miami
The phone rang and rang.
But Chris Grier didn’t want to answer it.
The Dolphins general manager wasn’t going to trade out of the 22nd pick.
Not with one of his top two targets still on the board.
The Dolphins believe they have Cameron Wake’s heir.
And his name is Charles Harris, the latest first-round pick of Miami’s football franchise.
“I’m not functioning right now,” Harris said from his suburban Kansas City home, surrounded by jubilant friends and family, just moments after he got the call from the Dolphins.
Harris is going to play immediately. You don’t take a player 22nd if you don’t expect him to do so.
He’ll be in the rotation at defensive end.
And his job?
“I get to that quarterback,” Harris said “I’m going to cause pressure, without a doubt. At the end of the day, it’s about what you’ve got in your heart.”
The Dolphins saw that heart on tape and in their meeting with him in Indianapolis.
Harris led the Tigers in sacks (9) and tackles for loss (12) as a junior in 2016. His first step is lightning. Chris Buford, a Dolphins area scout whose coverage area includes Missouri, connected with him on a personal level during the fall.
But Buford didn’t need to sell Harris to the rest of the team. His colleagues were all-in on their own, particularly after he aced his interview at the Combine. But they wanted to keep that love quiet. They didn’t fly Harris to Miami for a visit in an attempt to keep their interest on the sly. The first time he’ll visit South Florida is Friday.
Circumstances helped make this dream a reality.
This was pegged as the most unpredictable draft in years, and it lived up to the billing — to Miami’s benefit.
The Bears began the madness by sending a slew of picks to San Francisco to move up from No. 3 to 2, using that pick on North Carolina quarterback Mitchell Trubisky.
That started an unexpected run on offensive players — Western Michigan receiver Corey Davis at No. 5, Washington receiver John Ross at 9, Texas Tech quarterback Patrick Mahomes at 10 and Clemson’s Deshaun Watson at 12 — that pushed talented defensive players down.
Then it turned.
The Cardinals selected Temple linebacker Haason Reddick at 13.
The Eagles selected Tennessee defensive end Derek Barnett at 14.
The Redskins selected Alabama defensive end Jonathan Allen at 17.
And the Lions selected Florida linebacker Jarrad Davis at 21.
But with that Davis pick, the war room got giddy.
The Dolphins knew they would get a player they had targeted a month ago.
And so even though trade inquiries came while Miami was on the clock, they didn’t bite.
“We didn’t really talk much about what they offered,” Grier said of the two teams that called.
Instead they stuck to their board, turned in their card and then celebrated.
“This is a player that everybody in the building wanted,” Grier added.
Harris, meanwhile, was a bit stunned. He didn’t envision Miami as his new home.
And yet the call from South Florida “made me feel amazing.”
Harris added: “I’m a baller. I know I am. I’m going to work hard. I’m a baller. I just feel it.”