2017 NFL Draft Scouting Report
Prospect: Charles Harris
Ht: 6'3" Wt: 260
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Harris is one of the top risk/reward prospects eligible to enter the 2017 NFL Draft. After watching four games on him, I have seen the good, the bad, and the ugly. The tough part about evaluating Harris is how raw his technique is, yet he has the pure talent to still get results. While that may be good enough at the collegiate level, it won't be in the NFL, and whether or not he can take the techniques he is taught and display them on the field is no guarantee. Despite the inconsistencies, there is no doubting his gifts which make him a possibility to end up in the top 10.
When talking about what has scouts intrigued, you can't help but notice his first step off the snap. Tim Williams of Alabama and Myles Garrett at Texas A&M are at the top of this class in this area, and Harris is right there with both of them. He explodes off the line of scrimmage and up the field. Once he gets the edge, he can get low and turn the corner with his flexibility and balance. Unfortunately, that and a descent spin move are the entirety of his pass-rush repertoire. He has incredible feet and long arms, but he has to learn how to make the most of them. His handwork and ability to change direction can be the finishing touch that dooms his opponent and gets him to the quarterback but he has to polish them. It will also help him when he is asked to run stunts where he has minimal experience. He also has to learn to convert that first-step quickness into power when he sees the offensive lineman get off balance. When he recognizes it, he has to be able to stick that foot in the ground and drive the player back into the quarterback. For him to improve here, the footwork has to be more discipline, and he has to get stronger.
More strength will help him in the run game as well. He doesn't have a very effective punch to be able to stop the blockers momentum, and even if he did, he doesn't possess the lower-body strength to keep from getting driven back against stronger players. While a player like Tim Williams improved in this area as a senior, Harris hasn't taken that step in his fourth year. If he wants to be more than just a pass-rush specialist, he has to add that strength. Improved handwork will also help him in that aspect so he can disengage and get to the ball when necessary.
The area I have more questions about than any is in his awareness. He only had limited football experience in high school, so he is still learning the game and it sometimes shows. There are times the ball carrier runs right by him, and he doesn't react like he understood the play was in his direction. The light also doesn't come on quick enough on draws and screens. Against Florida this year, they ran quite a few draws where the tackle literally gave Harris a quick shove up the field and then released to block on the second level and Harris constantly ran right out of the play. These kinds of things get better with experience, but it could result in a much larger learning curve once in the NFL.
As far as his character is concerned, he is someone coaches will love. He is a hard worker that usually flies to the football with a particular tenacity when closing in on it. He gives great effort, although there are times you see it drop when he is initially neutralized. Still, he is passionate about being great and contemplated joining the Marines out of high school prior to getting recruited for football. He is also a versatile player. He looks comfortable playing with his hand off the ground and even looked at home dropping into coverage a few times. He also has limited experience shifting inside but also had some success there. The ceiling for this kid is extremely high but has a long ways to go in order to reach it. Some teams may devalue him because of it, but with the patience and coaching, he could be a special player.
Compares to (Current NFL Player): Whitney Mercilus (Houston Texans)
- Elite first step off the snap
- Gifted feet and long arms
- Flexibility and balance to turn the corner
- Effort and character are great
- Versatile player
- Football IQ and awareness are still growing
- Needs to add strength from top to bottom
- Footwork and hand placement need to be polished
1)   Mizzou's Charles Harris, Lincoln Prep grad, declares for NFL Draft   - Kansas City Star |
2)   Charles Harris preps for 2016 season amid NFL Draft buzz   - The Maneater |
3)   Is Charles Harris singing his swan song? He's not ready to say
- Columbia Daily Tribune |
4)   Charles Harris Twitter|