Over the next few weeks, we’ll continue looking at prospects in the upcoming 2017 NFL Draft from a decidedly Cowboys point of view. Taking the Cowboys current personnel, draft position, scheme, and needs into consideration; defensive line, linebacker, defensive backs, as well as complementary offensive pieces at tight end and right tackle, we hope to profile the majority of the potential prospects that could realistically end up as Cowboys within the first two rounds. Once all of the “official visits” leak we’ll add prospects that are possibilities in the later rounds.
Today’s Prospect - (Reported pre-draft visitor)
#91 - Charles Harris - Defensive End - Missouri - 6-3, 253
Games Watched: LSU, Vanderbilt, West Virginia, Florida (2015)
Pros: Devastating spin move, probably the best in the class. Good burst off the snap, suddenness and closing speed once he is able to turn the corner. Shows quickness when shooting gaps. Impressive first step and good, but not elite speed off the edge. Very active and shows good hustle/motor, pursues plays down the line and from the backside extremely well. Has a frame that looks like it could add more weight without sacrificing speed. Plays faster and with more twitch than how he tested at the Combine. Flashes the ability to convert speed to power, as well as a rip move and inside counter move, although it isn’t consistent. Has experience standing up at different spots, playing with his hand down, as well as moving inside on occasion.
Cons: Not good against the run, too easily washed out of his gap by OT’s, doesn’t shed well and plays too high at times. Hand usage is unrefined and needs to be developed. Inconsistent and disappears for long stretches, although part of that could be that he played on poor teams with little surrounding talent. Looks “straight-line” with limited side-to-side agility and change of direction, but he did look good at the Combine during linebacker drills. Needs to improve gap discipline. Gets out of control while trying to go too fast and loses balance in his pass-rush at times. 2016 statistical production was mostly limited to just three games with 9.5 of 12 TFL and 7.5 of 9 sacks coming against Georgia, Vanderbilt, and South Carolina. Must improve his strength at the point of attack against both the run and pass. Needs to be careful not to overuse his excellent spin move.
Conclusion: While Harris would be a perfectly fine selection at 28, I believe that he is a step below Derek Barnett, Taco Charlton, and Takkarist McKinley, and I could perhaps be talked into T.J. Watt over him as well. Many seem to view Harris as an ideal selection at 28 but I just don’t see it. Outside of his spin move and perhaps his first step I don’t see anything elite or special that screams “top-20 pick”, he looks more like a borderline first/early second type. The fact that an overwhelming amount of his production came from just three games out of 12 is a concern for me also.
He is good in several areas, and that’s why he’d be an acceptable choice at 28, I just don’t see anything to fall in love with. He would be a useful part of the Cowboys rotation from day 1, and at some point early in his career he should be a quality starter as a right defensive end, but first he must become more consistent overall and improve against the run.
Another thing to consider is that Missouri changed their defensive scheme after 2015, going into 2016, and he did look a bit better against Florida in the 2015 game that I saw, but it wasn’t night and day. At the end of the day I would be perfectly content with him at 28 but I’ll probably spend most of draft night hoping one of the other pass-rushers drops into our laps.
I do not have access to coach’s film or anything of that nature, I just watch plenty of football (television broadcast version) and go off what I see out of a prospect.
Special thanks to DraftBreakdown for posting the videos that help provide a more in-depth look at this year’s prospects.