After the dust has settled and the Miami Dolphins fan base has had a chance to settle in on their season ticket orders, many pundits are calling the Dolphins draft one of the best in years.
I had the incredible opportunity to chat with Aaron Ross of Prep2Prep about Charles Harris. Some background on Ross-a prospective student at Missouri in the fall has a knack for watching film and is an expert on the draft and college athletics.
Aaron, thank you for taking the time out of your busy schedule for this quick chat.
MS: Tell us uninformed Dolfans: Why is Charles Harris the right pick at 22 in this year’s draft?
AR: Harris is an inexperienced player with a huge upside and no defined ceiling on how effective he will be. In his 35 games at Mizzou, Harris recorded 136 tackles (34 TFL) and played on an SEC Championship level team pre-2015 strike. The Dolphins didn’t need a DE/OLB necessarily, but picking Harris at 22 is a great bolster to an already stout front 7.
MS: In your opinion, is Charles Harris more DE or OLB in the Dolphins 4-3 scheme?
AR: In Harris’s biggest upside, he could really be either. Last year, fans saw Harris produce in games against Vandy, Arkansas, and other pass-effective teams from a down DE position as well as seeing him produce in run-heavy teams from an OLB position. His drop back into coverage from OLB could use work, but his ability to chase down scrambling and mobile QB’s can be very useful in the AFC east, against Taylor and Smith (if he stays in NY). Harris is clearly more comfortable as a DE at this point, but with some teaching, could be a great OLB.
MS: We know about the physical attributes and the numbers he put up at Mizzou, what are the intangibles that Charles Harris brings to Miami?
Harris is lightning off the snap. His ability to gain the edge on elite SEC lineman was the Mizzou defense’s highlight of last season. His use of hands to win his one-on-one comes far and in-between, but usually isn’t needed in pass rush, where he excels. His biggest weakness is in his run-defense, where he has trouble beating sweeps and reading counters, but once again, that will come with experience.
MS: Some Miami Dolphins fans have seen this movie before with Dion Jordan (undersized for the position) why is this situation different?
AR: Harris is a unique player at this point of his career because the Dolphins drafted one big lump of clay. He has all of the skills and basics topped with being one of the best athletes in this years D-line class but with much less experience. With the proper coaching and technique, this gamble on Harris will soon pay off.
MS: Where do you believe Charles Harris will make the most impact during his first season in the NFL?
AR: Harris’s impact won’t be truly felt until next year, but for now, will spend his time developing and learning. By next season, expect Charles Harris to be a household name.
MS: Prediction: Where will Charles Harris be in five seasons and how many Pro Bowls will he have?
2x DPOY, 2x Pro bowl, (1x super bowl champ?)
So there you have it, there is tremendous upside for this rookie and Dolphins should be darned proud of what Harris will bring-especially to the rest of the quarterbacks in the AFC!
You can follow Aaron Ross @PagingDrRoss