One round of the NFL Draft is in the books and the Miami Dolphins have addressed a need.
With the 22nd pick on Thursday night, the Dolphins selected Missouri defensive end Charles Harris. While most in the fan base were hoping for Miami to pull the trigger on Alabama linebacker Reuben Foster, the team still filled a void.
Over his final two years at Missouri, Harris registered 16 total sacks, including nine last season. When you delve a little deeper into those numbers, you’ll notice that each of Harris’ nine sacks in 2016 came against bowl teams, so he’s not beating up on inferior competition.
Harris is a young man, who should be able to help the Dolphins immediately, but in a limited role. Harris is the quintessential speed rusher on the edge and has a superb take-off and according to experts, one of the best spin moves of any player in the draft.
What Harris isn’t yet is an every-down player. Against the run, Harris sometimes gets moved around with relative ease and must add strength to reach his full potential in the league.
What the addition of Harris does is add a young body to a position that is aging with star Cameron Wake being 35 years old. Andre Branch and free agent acquisition William Hayes were productive last year, but neither are long-term starters at defensive end.
The hope this season is that Harris can be productive as a pass-rusher and help alleviate some of the pain that franchise felt from taking Dion Jordan third overall in 2013. Adding depth is also a good thing and the prospects of Wake and Harris manning the end positions on obvious passing downs is an exciting one.
With a front seven that needs work and more bodies, the addition of Harris is a start. Don’t be surprised if the Dolphins continue to work on the defensive side of the ball Friday as they are slated to make the 54th and 97th overall picks in the draft.
Mike Ferguson is a sports writer and reporter for several publications and the Pro Football Spot lead writer for the Miami Dolphins. Follow Mike on Twitter @MikeWFerguson