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Harris: Will Slow And Steady Justify Grier’s Choice?

Harris: Will Slow And Steady Justify Grier’s Choice?

Harris maybe the turtle in this race against two hares

Harris may be the turtle in this race against two hares

Early season Harris wasn’t the same as late season Harris

The Miami Dolphins had a load of choices with the 22nd overall pick in the 2017 Draft.

Not many were excited by the pick of Charles Harris. His subsequent slow start even had many ‘believers’ questioning the choice.

The voices were legion who cried, ‘ MLB Reuben Foster was there for the taking, and Chris Grief was a fool not to take him.’

Errr, I  meant to say Chris Grier.

And given his season, a PFF grade of 90.7, ranking Foster the #4 MLB, their cries carry plenty of weight–like a mountain’s worth.

Others, like me, preferred T.J. Watt or even … but understood the need at Defensive End. We kept our fingers crossed.

Given a review of a full season, and the recent arrest of Foster for 2nd-degree marijuana possession, a Class A misdemeanor, maybe Grier won’t look so bad.

Foster had an excellent season in 10 starts with 76 tackles, 59 of which were solo with 7 stuffs included. But some of his injury red flags cropped up with nicks making him miss a couple of games early, and now the arrest, adds a lot of credence to Grier’s concern.

Miami sure doesn’t need another 1st Round addict on its roster.

Harris never lacked work ethic

Watt might have had the best statistical season with 52 tackles, 40 of which were solo, 7 sacks, 7 pass defensed, and a forced fumble and a pick. That’s an eye pooping rookie season for sure. But his PFF grade was 78.1. Which means that behind the flashy numbers Watt has some work to do.

Then there’s Harris with his 19 Tackles (17 of them solo), 2 Sacks, and 2 Passes Defensed… Yet, he has a 76.7 PFF rating. This means behind the paltry stats, Harris is doing the little–and statistically invisible–things right.

Going into the last game of the season against the Bills, PFF said this:

“T Dion Dawkins vs. Edge Charles Harris – Two rookies who have had excellent debut seasons will go head-to-head on Sunday. Dawkins has done a great job in pass protection all season. Since Week 7, Dawkins has only allowed 14 total pressures and is one of 10 offensive tackles with at least 100 pass-block snaps not to allow a sack. In fact, Dawkins hasn’t allowed a sack since Week 5.  Harris has the fourth-most pressures by a rookie edge defender this season with 34, and his pass-rushing productivity rating of 9.1 is the sixth-best.”

We all remember this Harris:

 

Harris got better and better as the season progressed

Late in the season, he became a much better player. In this clip of the Fins first meeting against the Bills, you see Harris dominating a FB and TE to set the edge. Then, while playing inside, he beats a double team with a spin move and makes the tackle. This is exceptional development in his weakest area.

 

A lot of what Harris lacked early, clicked late in the season

His pass rush skills definitely improved. Notice how he doesn’t quit and continues to hand fight. The patience and growth in his hand fighting technique paid off. This was a brutal hit on Tyrod Taylor. These kinda’ shots are like body blows in boxing. They pay dividends as the game goes on. It’s another excellent play that doesn’t show on the stat sheet. The second play shows growth in strength and ability to use leverage. Dion Dawkins is massive, outweighing him by 60 pounds. He would have been engulfed and tossed aside like a rag doll earlier in the season.

His play recognition improved dramatically

The clip below is an outstanding snap by Harris. It demonstrates vet level play recognition of a screen pass. He was beaten like a drum early in the season because of his lack of play recognition. Here he has a free lane to the QB, realizes it’s a set up, then uses his Swiss Amy Knife spin move to backtrack on a dime. That demonstrates both excellent agility and recognition. If he had played like this from Preseason, the talk about his pick would be far, far different.

 

Interesting note, that wasn’t reported: Harris had only 2 snaps in the second Bills match up. After back-to -back plays, he never saw another snap. Was he injured? Whatever the reason, it wasn’t from failing in his assignments.

 

None of this means Harris will continue to grow next season. Nor that he will surpass either Foster or Watt. What it does mean is the narrative on him being a bust is false, or at least premature. Noted for being raw when drafted, his hard work and growth is obvious. These 3 players will be linked for their careers. It’s nice to know that maybe, just maybe the Phins got it right on this one… or were at least close. Go Phins!!!

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17 comments

  • Gil

    In Free Agency i like the Dolphins To go After Guard from Carolina Andrew Norwell. . ,

    • admin

      I agree 100%. LG is the one place they should spend their money. They have a hard time drafting at that spot, and they need a vet to help stabilize the line… Pouncey may or may not be back / last in 2018, so bring me a quality vet at G please!

  • Steve

    Hello Dol-Fans

    Many of us truly believed that the Defense wins the game. Dunner has mentioned this quite often as well. After making that statement I would state that the Jacksonville Jags will defeat the PAT’s today “If” The Jag’s defense does not create mental penalties for themselves. The Jag’s defense have the talent to shut down New England’s offense. The Jag’s offense must be well balance and not one dimensional.

    • admin

      YUP… and RUNNING GAME. I see the NFL moving to a new era that is a resurgence of the run game and running backs. Ohhh man I’d love to see them lose… but I just know the refs have something up their sleeve… they always do.

      • Steve

        Did not see the game in its entirety, just a few,minutes. But! You called it.the I was told the Ref! Had a serious affect in favor of the PATS 1st touch drive.

  • Steve

    DETERMINING THE NFL DRAFT ORDER

    1 Non-playoff teams get picks 1-20 — the team with the worst record picks first overall
    2 Teams eliminated in the Wild Card round get picks 21-24
    3 Teams eliminated in the Divisional round get picks 25-28
    4 Teams eliminated in the Conference Championships get picks 29-30
    5 Super Bowl loser gets pick 31
    6 Super Bowl winner gets pick 32
    7 Tiebreakers: strength of schedule, division tiebreakers, conference tiebreakers, coin flip
    8 This order applies to all seven rounds of the draft with tied teams cycling positions from round to round
    9 Weeks before the draft, up to a total of 32 compensatory picks are awarded to teams that lost significant free agents — these picks are made after rounds 3-7

  • Steve

    The Miami Dolphins has proven they are capable of winning the better teams. But Consistency has killed the Dolphins over the last 30 years.

    Griffin started out as a safety who excel ed as a line backer for UCF 13 and 0 2017 season. A mid to late rounder who can help transform the Dolphins mediocre performances and excuses and truly understand what it means to earned a position.

    4th Rounder: Shaquem Griffin | UCF https://youtu.be/H6jFL3W1Z7E

    • admin

      I like the look for a mid round pick, but we have two guys like him getting paid big. We need a center fielder. Forget this mirror look… neither McDonald or Jones can cover with enough consistency. We need one guy, even if it’s on sure passing downs who can keep the top from getting blown and is smart enough to get 3-5 picks a season. If he cn cover a TE that much better… Smith maybe, might, could end up a decent cover S… but I’m not looking to bank a whole season on him to find out.

  • Steve

    1st rounder: Trade back for more picks: Maybe the Dolphins can picked up a 4th and 5th rounder?

    2nd Round
    Offensive Guard: Billy Price or Wil Hernandez or
    DT Christian Wilkins Clemson https://youtu.be/rEsswczmQzk

    3rd rounder consideration
    Luke Falk QB Solid Day two QB
    https://youtu.be/c8gD1BqwbT0

    Duke Ejiofor DE https://youtu.be/zt1XN1utEKc 3rd rounder

    Good candidate to replaced Jay Ajayi

    4th rounder: Bo Scarborough*, RB
    https://youtu.be/Ctngf82uKRc

    4th Rounder: Shaquem Griffin | UCF https://youtu.be/H6jFL3W1Z7E
    5th rounder: Jamal Peters*, CB, Mississippi State https://youtu.be/mTUG_xeBjsE

    6th Round: Davin Bellamy, OLB, Georgia https://youtu.be/2yEvJ6Of-MU
    Tre’ Williams (Auburn LB https://youtu.be/lUp6lvEG7aY
    Chris Worley Ohio State Outside Linebacker https://youtu.be/SAeHtBN4HfE

    7 Rounder: Deon François Florida State Quarter BackFSU’s Deondre Francois: Heisman-level passing numbers in 2016? https://www.tomahawknation.com/florida-state-football-fsu-noles/2017/7/11/15950598/fsu-football-deondre-francois-heisman-level-passing-numbers-2016

    Ethan Wolf Tennessee TE https://youtu.be/7ZlogjJgvy4 or
    Dalton Schultz Stanford TE Best Blocking Tight End in the PAC 12 5-7 rounder
    https://youtu.be/SfX6cIgMnEc

  • Dunner

    Slow and steady is better than not all.

    Notice how all 4 teams have 1 thing in common in the conference championships = DEFENSE

    Defense wins. Always has and always will.

    Lets hope this latest mock draft holds true because this is the guy I would like (Tremaine Edmunds), while getting another third or forth rounder to boot. Team this guy up with R.McMillan and you could possibly have 2/3 of a very fast, young, athletic LBing unit. Now just find a replacement for Kiko and we would be onto something.

    https://www.thephinsider.com/2018/1/20/16912034/2018-nfl-mock-draft-5-0

    This is the guy I’m hoping Miami targets and gets. Trading down 3 spots and getting an extra third or forth would be a cherry on top.

    I know O-Line is a priority, but guard Nelson is gone in this scenario. Get this kid and turn our focus on TE and Guard/Tackle.

    • admin

      I like Tremaine Edmunds better than Smith… although Smith fills more crucial role. I’ve heard from a couple of places Smith has knee issues. Small guy and knee issues is my cup of tea. I love Edmunds as SLB. I’d love to run a 3-4 hybrid with him at OLB… doubt I’ll get either. WLB, LG, TE and cover FS are the front line spots needing filled. Edmunds would be a WLB… but I do like him. My dream is minkah falls and somehow we grab Price with a lucky fall or a semi cheap trade up. Doubt that happens either. Mafield is tantalizing as well Slow and steady Nelson if all else fails… Drake and the run game should be the Offensive drive and Nelson would help that tremendously. Ahhh this is the first draft in ages that I’m fully vested in… feels good. Checking the mock draft and vids Steve sent over my coffee…

  • Lemmus

    …I get the good vibes about Harris, I do …but my bottom line is that he had just 2 sacks the entire season …was that worth a 1st round pick? …certainly not this year …maybe next? …but pardon my negative nellie tendencies here if I remind you we heard the same song re Dion Jordan …not to mention Devante Parker …”just wait until next year” …not saying Harris is doomed to fail, just saying I’m not convinced …at all, eh

    …in the meantime, we suffered through another horrid OL year …can we at least consider the thought that a 1st round OL pick could have produced far more value than Harris did? …dare I suggest a winning season even? …yeah, yeah, I get it …”no one” takes a Guard in the 1st round” …except they do and it isn’t exactly rare …the past 4 years alone, at least one G has been taken in the 1st …and as high as 7th …just not the phins, “’cause we can get them in the later rounds” …like, oh say, Asiata?

    …pray that Nelson is there at 11 …and our FO has finally had enough of the OL woes …enough to convince them to take him when he falls into our lap

    • admin

      “but pardon my negative Nellie tendencies here if I remind you we heard the same song re Dion Jordan …not to mention Devante Parker ”

      Jordan was a drug and discipline issue and Parker is heart and injury. Harris doesn’t have any of these issues. his is straight technique. The growth is dramatic…especially in the run defense. The sacks will come. We have both said this, he would be a better fit as a OLB in the 3-4. This D scheme is based off the Bengals and they run a 3-4… do wish they’d run a 3-4. The wide nine is almost the same (aside from the interior) as a 3-4… wouldn’t be a massive difference–but the personnel would be. NT–good or better ones– are a rare thing and very hard to come by. Anyway… good article: http://www.miamiherald.com/sports/spt-columns-blogs/barry-jackson/article195660409.html but the responses in the comments are better… very unlike Phins 🙂

      • Lemmus

        …just as you said, good article …the comments run the gamut …some are know nothings, some have a clue
        …as for Harris, I really hope he pans out …just expected a lot more from the 1st pick

        …as for the draft, if Nelson isn’t there then the top LB on the board …if neither, trade down and take Price plus a couple xtra picks

        …but as one of the comments pointed out, FA will reset a LOT of the draft board …for instance, if Denver gets a QB in FA then they will almost certainly take Nelson first …if we get a LB in FA and Nelson is gone, trade down …unless ?????? 🙂

        • admin

          FA is the key. I think LG is the one big spend we should go for…

          • Dunner

            If they are not thinking Nelson in the first, then they for sure should go out and get a young/healthy LG if available. Heck, they gave Kiko and Branch stupid money for very little return. What is wrong with shelling that out for a much needed LG??? Kiko and Branch will both be gone after next season when Miami can cut bait at no cost and save 16+ million/year. Tannebaum’s worst 2 contracts by far since his arrival.

            Speaking of Tremaine Edmunds, I’ve seen where some do project him as a “Sam”, if not and “Will” is his position, then I would not be targeting him at 11 and if Nelson is gone or the team has already signed a FA LG, trade down with a QB needy team and garner an extra second and/or third. In trading down, maybe they can target the top rated TE if said player is worthy in that spot.

            I do like the thought of either Safety; Fitzpatrick or James at 11. McDonald could then slide into the box and become the new hybrid LB/S, at which then they could bench Kiko, yea!!!