Hard Rock Stadium was bustling with approximately 5000 anxious fans all waiting to find out who the Dolphins would take with the 22nd pick of the draft. When Roger Goodell called DE Charles Harris from Mizzou, the excitement quickly fizzled.
Maybe it’s because Harris wasn’t as widely known as some of the other names left on the board, including Alabama standout Reuben Foster.
It’s ok Dolphins fans. While you may not know much about Charles Harris, here’s why this is a solid pick for the team.
For years, Cameron Wake has been a staple at DE for the Dolphins. However, time will soon be catching up to Wake. He’s 35, but miraculously came back from tearing his Achilles in 2015. While his 2016 season was pretty spectacular with 11.5 sacks, it’s hard pressed to imagine that Wake can do this or even wants to do this for much longer.
Dolphins fans may have gotten their hopes high on Alabama’s Reuben Foster after his dropped in the draft for failing a drug test at the combine, as well as got into an altercation with a hospital staff member. There was more. Foster admitted to having trouble understanding the technical side of the game and didn’t fair well in team interviews according to Bleacher Report.
The major concern with Foster for NFL teams, beyond the off-field questions, is his ability to absorb a playbook. Foster has struggled in interviews with teams who ask him to draw concepts with X’s and O’s. “I’ve been working to get better,” Foster says. “Other people learn different, other people have ADHD, or have a learning disorder. X’s and O’s on boards is hard to do for me. I second-guess myself.
In the fast paced NFL environment, natural ability isn’t the only thing that matters anymore. The combination of both talent and IQ leads to the most success. Foster’s problems at the combine certainly didn’t help either.
Charles Harris gives the Dolphins solid tangibles without the off-field headaches. There is no guessing on his character, and with 9 sacks and 12 tackles for loss, it appears the Dolphins made the wiser decision. While his combine results don’t peg him to be a 3-down player just yet, tutelage from the likes of Cameron Wake and the willingness to learn on Harris’ part could prove to elevate Harris’ strengths against the run and allow him to smoothly transition if, and when, Wake decides to hang up his cleats.
Rest easy Fins fans.