Scouting the NFL Draft: Missouri EDGE Charles Harris

Charles Harris, EDGE, Missouri
Ht. 6'2½", Wt. 253, Arm: 32⅜", Hand: 9⅝", Bench: 21
40 yd: 4.82, 10 yd.: 1.65, 3 Cone: 7.47, Vertical: 32", Broad: 9'1"

The Cowboys need some pass rush help in the worst way.

I will say this until the cows come home, look at the Cowboys five Super Bowl championships and they all had great defensive lines. Doomsday I, Doomsday II and the fantastic D-line rotation the Cowboys used to win three Super Bowls in the 90s.

Those defensive lines were littered with Hall of Famers and Pro Bowlers: Bob Lilly, Randy White, Harvey Martin, Ed "Too Tall" Jones, Charles Haley, Russell Maryland, Leon Lettt and Tony Tolbert.

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Is Charles Harris of Missouri worthy of joining the list? He is a right defensive end. Started his last two seasons at Mizzou (sophomore and junior seasons).

Mizzou has cranked out pass rushers recently: Kony Ealy, Aldon Smith, Shane Ray and Markus Golden. Harris played behind Ray and Golden in 2014.

My friend Chris Landry of joins me each week on my NBC Sports Radio show and has this take on Harris' ability:

"Knows how to work the edge with his hands and like all good pass rushers, can move his hands and his feet at the same time, something that is not very easy and very misunderstood. The fourth-year junior wasn’t the same player early on this fall in the Tigers’ new defensive scheme — causing Harris to speculate how his draft stock could be affected — but he came on late. Harris had nine sacks this season, with 5.5 of them coming in November. This past season, Harris has registered 61 tackles (12.0 for loss), nine sacks and a pair of forced fumbles. He is coming off a 2015 campaign in which he recorded a whopping 18.5 tackles for loss.

"He plays more athletic than he tests. He is explosive off the line of scrimmage and has a counter spin versus offensive tackles. However his athletic testing doesn’t translate as well meaning that while he will be successful at the NFL level, not likely quite as successful as he was in college. On tape, Harris is a very polished pass rusher with a great get off and pairs it with an effective counter move. However, testing in the 9th percentile for a pass rusher is a major concern. He posted a 1.65s 10-yard split at the NFL Scouting Combine."

Strengths (per draft analyst Nolan Nawrocki)
• Outstanding athlete with great intial quickness, bend and burst off the edge
• Beats blockers to the spot in the run game slicing gaps and knifing into the backfield
• Is able to convert speed to power
• Has outstanding closing speed to track down backs to the perimeter
• The game is important to him and he works hard at it

Weaknesses (per former NFL Scout Chris Landry)
• Pops upright off the snap and struggles vs. angle blocks
• Loses contain too often on film, staying glued to blocks and allowing runners to attack the edges
• Raw pass rush sequence and doesn’t set up his moves, often tipping his hand
• Attempts different jabs and chops as a pass rusher, but doesn’t consistently land them, leading to wasted movements
• Can be slowed by blocks and lacks the secondary juice to quickly regain his momentum
• Average chase speed in pursuit of ballcarriers, lacking finishing burst to close the gap
• Slow to adjust to changed scheme in 2016 and needs to make the mental connections quicker - still young in football years

NFL Draft comparison:
Cliff Avirl. Rob Nikovich. Both players won Super Bowls as starters.

Verdict: Late First Round

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