Each year are hundreds of stories being told during the planning and anticipation of the NFL Draft; the 2017 NFL Draft is no different. Today we will be looking at a scouting report for redshirt junior defensive end/outside linebacker Charles Harris, Missouri Tigers.
He was a lone bright side on the defensive side of the ball on a 4-8 Missouri football team; his impact was felt in spurts with nine sacks in 2016 (7.5 sacks were accrued in three games). What position does he transition to best at the next level? Because I’m a high school football coach and educator by trade, let’s break down what I saw in the five games I reviewed of the red-shirt junior defender: 2016 contests versus West Virginia, LSU, and Vanderbilt along with 2015 games against Florida and Arkansas. Most of these game videos are available via draftbreakdown.com. These are my thoughts:
Cons: The defender is a bit stiff-hipped which makes it hard for him to change directions laterally. When he tries to move from side to side, the defensive end tends to get off-balance. Harris can be over aggressive at times and move himself entirely out of the play or get thrown out of the game like he did against LSU for multiple unsportsmanlike penalties. His lower legs are a bit on the thin side and Harris appears to be a better pass rusher than a run stopper, because it takes him longer to free himself from run blocks. He looked awkward dropping back into coverage with his lower body stiffness, so I’m not sure he could play as an outside linebacker in a 3-4.
Pros: Harris lined up on the outside in a two, three, or four point stance and had a quick first step to get into the pocket at the snap. The defender uses good leverage getting into his blockers shoulder pads with his powerful, outstretched arms. He flipped to both sides of the formation using power and athleticism to gain distance between himself and the blockers trying to control him. The former Tiger uses spins, swims, a bull rush, and the dip/rip to get leverage around offensive linemen. Harris can anchor the line of scrimmage when asked, forcing the play back inside. The defensive end will work down the line of scrimmage on run plays trying to fight through to punish the ball carrier. Even when lying on his stomach, Harris had enough arm strength and vision to bring running backs down.
Overall impressions: Harris is a great fit as a 4-3 defensive end with his pass rushing acumen. He will need to get better against the run and may kick inside on passing downs to use his quickness and leverage. In this year’s class, the former Tiger could be a great value towards the back half of your rookie draft after the bigger names: Allen, Garrett, Barnett, Thomas, and Charlton are gone.
Thanks for reading. I will continue to discuss my scouting reports with you throughout the next week or so, please keep checking the site for more content. You can also follow me on Twitter @AndrewMiley.