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NFL Draft Scouting Report: Charles Harris, OLB, Missouri

NFL Draft Scouting Report: Charles Harris, OLB, Missouri

Charles Harris -- Missouri Tigers

Position: Outside Linebacker

Height: 6'3"
Weight: 253
Year: Senior
Hometown: Kansas City, MO
Experience: Sr. - 2 year starter

Measurables:

40yd dash: 4.82
Broad jump: 109” (118” at pro day)
Vertical: 32” (37.5” at pro day)
3-cone: 7.47 (7.05 at pro day)
20yd. Shuttle: 4.42
Bench Press: 21 reps

 

Career Notes:

Harris was a multi-sport athlete at Lincoln Prep High School in Kansas City. He was a standout in basketball as well as a league Defensive MVP in football as a senior. In 2013, Harris accepted an offer at Missouri and redshirted his freshman year.

He logged his first game action in 2014 and even started one game later in the year for injured starter Markus Golden, tallying two sacks and four quarterback hurries in a reserve role on defense. With Golden and Shane Ray moving on to the NFL, Harris became Missouri’s full-time starting defensive end in 2015.

As a redshirt sophomore, Harris emerged as a playmaker on defense and established himself as one of the SEC’s top young pass rushers. Earning Second Team All-SEC honors, he led the conference in tackles for loss with 18.5 and registered 56 tackles, seven sacks, and 10 hurries.

In 2016, Harris built on his strong sophomore season with impressive production as a junior. He finished second on the Tigers in tackles with 61 stops, while also notching nine sacks and 10 quarterback hurries. 5.5 of Harris’ nine sacks came in the last four games of the season.

In December the Missouri native decided to forgo his senior season and declare early for the NFL Draft. He’s widely regarded as one of the better edge rushers in the class and a likely early-round prospect.

 

Injury Report: 

Harris didn’t suffer any significant injuries in college. He didn’t miss a start in two years as Missouri’s featured defensive end.

 

Career Stats(click here):

 

Analysis:

Against the Run: 3.5:5.0

Harris is an active run defender, despite being undisciplined at times. He makes plenty of plays in this phase of the game because he’s strong off the edge and plays with a relentless motor. He can track down ball carriers in pursuit or shed his man and wrap up the ball carrier behind the line of scrimmage. He shows good overall strength and leverage, staying under the lineman’s pads and not surrendering ground in the trenches. He can be very disruptive because of his ability to beat blocks off the snap. However, Harris plays a bit out of control at times and can be too aggressive, sacrificing his gap integrity. He can also get pushed off his spot at times if he’s trying to win with speed instead of holding the point of attack. His overall awareness against the run needs to improve.

Pass Rush: 4.5/5.0

Harris brings a lot to the table as a pass rusher. He’s explosive off the line, showing a quick first step and impressive power out of his stance. He can shock offensive linemen off balance with an effective rip move, using his strong hands to knock his man off balance and then dip under the tackle's pads. He can also win on the edge with upfield speed. He fires out of his stance, which puts lineman on their heels. If a tackle oversets to the outside, Harris has a nice inside step move that allows him to gain leverage on the tackle’s inside shoulder. If all else fails, Harris has a sharp spin move that he’ll pull out to change up his approach. He does a nice job setting up his opponent. He’ll step inside and then spin to the outside, or he’ll burst upfield and get his man to overplay for speed and then he’ll spin back inside. Harris even has a solid bull rush and his hands are active and violent off the line. Despite the array of pass rush moves, Harris can be a bit stiff off the edge. He doesn’t have the hip flexibility or bend of the other top edge rushers in the class, but he can win with burst, power, and polished pass rushing technique. And lastly, it would be impossible to discuss Harris’ game without mentioning his relentless motor. He plays full speed on every down and doesn’t stop, which allows him to make second-chance plays.

Coverage:  2.5/5.0

Harris seldom dropped in coverage in college, but when he did,he seemed to struggle. He looked awkward backpedalling in space. However, this could be more of a comfort issue than the lack of athletic ability. This is the area that he needs the most work at the next level, especially if he plays outside linebacker in a 3-4 scheme. However, he looked smooth in coverage drills at the NFL Combine, showing he has potential to improve in this area.

Athletic Ability: 3.5/5.0

Harris is an explosive straight-line athlete, but his change of direction and lateral movement look a bit labored at times. This could hurt his draft stock with 3-4 teams, especially if they ask him to play out in space. However, 4-3 teams or defenses looking for a hybrid edge player (elephant) could still value him because of the evident upfield burst and quickness at the line of scrimmage. And even though Harris isn’t the most agile edge rusher, he still plays with some bend and flexibility. He did put up average workout numbers at the NFL Combine, but he improved at his pro day, showing he possesses a lot of lower body explosion and power.

Play Speed: 4.0/5.0

Harris has average straight-line speed for an edge player (4.82), but he has impressive burst and quickness, allowing him to play fast off the line of scrimmage. His motor and incredible hustle also enable him to play fast.

Impact Play Ability: 4.5/5.0

While Harris has been very productive in his two years as a starter, it's his explosive plays that jump out on tape. With 16 sacks, 20 hurries, and 31 tackles for loss in 24 starts, Harris finds multiple ways to impact a game. He can line up at defensive end, upright edge rusher, or even kick inside as a three-technique defensive lineman on third downs. He's a hard-charging violent downhill player who can play a variety of spots in the front seven. He was the one standout player of the Tigers defense for two years.

Summary: While Harris’ best fit in the NFL might be as a 4-3 defensive end, he has shown enough athleticism and burst to play outside linebacker in a 3-4 defense. He might be more of a project at outside linebacker, but if a 3-4 team likes his pass rushing ability enough, they could work with him and find a role for him on their defense. Nick Perry comes to mind. Harris is a borderline first/second round edge rusher in this class.

Overall Grade: 3.75/5.0  

 

If Drafted by the Packers:

It would take Harris some time to adjust to outside linebacker, especially getting used to dropping in coverage in the NFL. However, he could immediately serve as a third-down pass rusher and a guy they rotate in on the edge in passing situations.

Harris does need to be more disciplined in the running game, but he could learn behind Clay Matthews and Nick Perry as he serves as a situational pass rusher. The Packers could even create some third down packages where Harris, Matthews, and Perry are all on the field to rush the passer.

Green Bay could certainly use another young edge rusher on their roster. Harris is an explosive athlete whose game could use more development. However, he has starting caliber potential in the NFL, which could be valuable to the Packers down the road if Matthews either moves back to inside linebacker, deals with injuries, or is no longer the featured player on defense because of age and decline.

 

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Fan friendly comments only: on Comments (5) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

PackerfanAuggie15's picture

Not another 4-3 conversion project please, especially at 29!

gauravchauhan's picture

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Handsback's picture

This is the type of player that I just don't see as a Packer. TT likes to see that 3-cone drill to be under 7 seconds for his LBs. He also isn't used to dropping back for Zone Blitz coverages. He's not as athletic as Nick Perry and it took Perry a year or two to get used to the OLB position.
I don't see him as a good match.

EdsLaces's picture

His first step is ridiculous ...Harris or Tak please !

Arthur Jackson's picture

Thank god Thompson didn't pick this future bust!

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