Miami Dolphins News
What’s The Expectations For Charles Harris In 2017?

What’s The Expectations For Charles Harris In 2017?

Harris created high expectations for his ability to disrupt in OTA's

In  OTA’s, Harris created high expectations for his ability to disrupt

Miami brass expects Harris to be a potent pass rusher

The Miami Dolphins 2017 Draft class has already lost starting LB Raekwon McMillian and 7th round pick WR Isaiah Ford. And with the season only days away, the sole starter ( although now it seems it’s a shared duty with Jordan Phillips ) appears to be 5th rounder DT Davon Godchaux.

The question is, how much effect will the 2017 Draft Class have on this season? A big determiner will be the play of 1st Rd pick Charles Harris. So what should be expected of his rookie season?

First, let’s be clear, Harris is a bit of a project. This isn’t a surprise. Slow development has been the expectation from the start. At the moment, Harris is the 5th best DE on the depth chart. But let’s be clear, Cameron Wake vouches for Harris’ talent. Wake foresees handing the torch off to Harris as it was handed off to him by Jason Taylor… That’s about as good a recommendation as your ever gonna’ get, so it’s good enough for me.

But we aren’t looking to the future in this article. We focusing on now.

Harris gives hints that he might be special

Early on, Harris was showcasing his speed and ability to get to the QB and was impressing both coaches and vets. Fast-forward to the end of preseason, Harris has yet to produce much in terms of game-time stats. So far in 3 games, he has 1 solo tackle, no sacks, no quarterback hits, and no tackles for a loss.

It’s fair to say that many pph bookie service providers were betting on him having more impact. But it’s also fair to say that stats can lack context… and after all, it’s only Preseason.

So what does the story going forward look like?

Harris showed flashes of edge pressure in pass rush all Preseason, and he was at his best in Week 4–albeit against lesser talent. He has also displayed a relentless style of play that runs at 100%. Hard work can never be underestimated.



But there was also plenty of very green plays that highlighted his lack of play recognition, lack of contain, and even a bout of the ‘fall downs’. At times he looked extremely raw. Below is a few examples of this general theme.



The only real concern going forward in the short term is his real lack of strength and ability to play run defense. But given his frame, his strength should increase in a season or two, which will go a long way to helping improve his run support and pass rush.



Harris also showed weakness in his hand fighting. Far too often he relied on the ‘chicken wing’ to try and drive a blocker. Sometimes this worked, but far more often it allowed his opponent to get their hands on him, where his lack of strength left him dominated.

Run support is Harris’ greatest issue at the moment

And yet, small flashes showed what Harris could be, if he does develop.

Below, despite his over angling to use leverage to compensate for his lack of strength, his ability to fight  a block, maintain gap integrity and edge control… and still get free to make the tackle was one of his best plays in Preseason. The second play stands out as a highlight of what he was billed to be: a pass rusher with a nice spin move. The use of his hand post spin is seamless and instinctual on this one. This snap shows that with a few more tools in his bag that he may very well take the torch from Wake and run with it.



Overall this isn’t the ‘sky is falling’ type of concern… at least not yet. However, after strong OTA’s most fans were wagering that Harris was going to be a real stud this year. Unfortunately, once the pads came on, his spin move and other pass rushing moves lost much of their punch.

It’s easier to shine early, the Regular Season will offer a great indicator of the future

When Coach Gase was asked about Harris’ lack of sacks and stats, he said he wasn’t worried. Gase said Harris has been disruptive and put pressure on the QB to force an early release.

Harris’ take on his progress so far was that he’s been thinking too much and not letting it rip.

I’ll throw the ever useful cliche in… time will tell if this is truth or an excuse.

I don’t see Harris as a player offering much production for the 1st half of the season. And it’s not out of the realm of possibility to see him deactivated for some games. I do expect him too develop a bit as the season progresses and to bring production outside of being called on due to injury. This may just end up as a spot rusher on clear passing downs, as I doubt he can correct his run-stopping issue this season. But I do see him as being a minor factor at some point in 2017.

At the moment, it appears that Harris is still getting used to the speed and complexity of the NFL.  Unfortunately, the doubting Thomas in me hears the old Bill Parcells’ quote, ‘If Rookies don’t bite as puppies, then they are never going to bite’. Parcell’s believed good players generally produce in the NFL right away, and if they don’t, then they may never. Of course, Parcells best acquisition was Wake who languished up in Canada a few seasons before he started biting. Guess Bill’s quote is more like a guideline and not set in stone. If will be interesting to see if Harris bites sooner or later. Go Fins!!!



*Video and break downs were done by M.J. through the slave shop wages of a tyrannical Jimmy Bourbon


Comment on Facebook


Related posts:


  • phinfreak

    Im not saying Harris is a BUST…yet, but I am saying Bbbbbbu right now. I dont see anything special, rookie or not.

    As a guru once said ” …if they dont bite as pups, they dont bite when they all growed up..” – Bill Parcells

    • admin

      yeah, Jimmy paraphrased that one at the end. I agree Freak, he is super raw or a bust… This could be a bad pick. Although, Wake took a few seasons to develop. That might be grasping at straws though…

  • Lemmus

    …I knew Chris Harris …and JB is no Chris Harris!

    …but Charles Harris, the fins 1st round draft choice …not sure anyone knows him

    …certainly, the opposing QBs have not got to know him …not up close and personal …not yet

    …but the opposing RBs …they like him oh so much, eh …being nice guys, they wave as they blow by

    …so I’m thinking JB sees him from the QB perspective …and thus couldn’t tell Chris from Charles

    …either way, in Parcel speak, this pup hasn’t bitten anyone yet …lots of bark though, like a Chihuahua

    …JB, if you see a Chihuahua in a Dolfin uniform, THAT’s Charles Harris …else, bless your pea pickin’ little editor wannabe heart, its likely just good ole Chris 🙂

    • admin

      All that work and one crazy screw up in the title. I threw something in there to replace Jimmy’s and forgot to check … ran the rest over with a magnifying glass. Haven’t got it from Jimmy yet. Times like these makes you want to hang your head. Ohh well, I’m good for one of these once a month. But yeah, he does has talent, but he is very raw and a bit weak. As Jason said above, we could of had Foster. With McMillian injured this could be insult to injury. Stay safe sir. Just read Irma is getting stronger 185mph. Man all those spiritual conspiracy theories on youtube about Sept. being a crazy alignment of the stars might end up being right… and thanks for rubbing the insult to my injury in. 🙂

      • Lemmus

        …sorry mj, good article, just couldn’t resist …you’re much better at the editing than you used to be …but every so often even the best get bitten

        • admin

          No problem sir. You and others have pushed this graphic designer to improve–thanks for the wisdom and patience… now if you could only come over and watch the kids, so I could edit in peace! Listen be safe, this Irma is looking worse and worse.

      • Lemmus

        …just a note on Irma …drove to West Palm Beach early yesterday to board up house there …left there at 7pm to drive back to home south of Lake Wales …the turnpike was a parking lot going north …took over an hour to do the first 24 miles …nothing on the southbound side except semi after semi …looked like that old Burt Reynolds movie, Convoy …got home after 11pm …gas lines everywhere, people pushing cars that had run out …leaving now to go fill car and a couple cans …its going to get crazy in south Florida the next few days …praying Irma keeps shifting east …thought the out-of-staters here might be interested

  • Dunner

    Nice player. Needs to learn how to set and maintain the edge Should he spell Wake and Branch throughout to keep them as fresh as possible and get 5-6 sacks doing it….. it is a win!!

    • admin

      Due to his terrible run D, how often will he get in there early? Can he fix his run stop this season? I think a lot has to do with strength. 5-6 sacks would be nice.

      • Lemmus

        …back just after the draft, if you should look at my comments on Harris, you’ll find me seeing way to much of Dion Jordan in the guy …and here we are having the same conversation we had after Jordan’s first camp …if only he could set the edge …if only he could stop the run …if only ad infinitum …he’ll be great some day, he will …as a poster boy for another failed draft …DE, not so much …but we invested a 1st round pick in him so, like Jordan, he’ll be the perennial “just wait until next year” story …I give him 3 years and he’ll be out of the league

        …think I saw a stat recently …on average, only 56% of first round picks turn out to be starters in the NFL …count Harris in the left overs, imnsho of course 🙂

        • admin

          At this point I’m leaning your way on Harris. He has a long way to go before he can start. They do have him ranked #2 on the depthchart behind Branch… whatever that means.

    • phinfreak

      Thats just not good enough for a 1st player round 1 pick.

  • PHINS69