Dallas Cowboys 2017 NFL Draft: Five Defensive End Prospects
By Ronald Smith
Charles Harris, DE – Missouri
It may seem like a common theme, but speed. The Missouri Tigers defensive end is at his best when executing the speed rush. His bread and butter is his amazingly fast first step and his ability to bend around the corner. Few in this draft class react to the snap better than Charles Harris does and he does it on pass plays and run plays.
As a former basketball player Charles displays great athleticism. Watching him perform spin moves with ease is no doubt an ode to his days on the hardwood. When he times the spin move just right he is able to get around any offensive lineman in his path.
Possesses excellent footwork for a man his size. Not only on the above mentioned spins, but also when running stunts. He changes direction with ease when reacting to the ball carrier as well. He even showed the ability, one a surprising number of occasions, to drop into coverage and keep up with running backs. That footwork coupled with high effort levels are the reasons Harris tends to put himself in position to make plays.
There were times when his over-reliance on his speed to get around a blocker opened running lanes. As opposed to stacking and shedding a blocker he would attempt to beat them and the runner would simply pick the wide open lane.
He is relatively inexperienced due to that fact that he played more basketball than football in high school. While that improves his athleticism it has been a hindrance to his sixth sense as a football player. As such he tends to play more reactionary than instinctive.
Could really benefit from an NFL strength program. Can get swallowed up in tackles if he is engaged. His initial punch is not as powerful as you would expect from someone with such explosive speed.
Outlook for the Dallas Cowboys
Depending on team needs he could very well go top 15 or he could fall to us. He has as much upside as anyone in this draft, not named Myles Garrett. The size, speed and athletic abilities, along with great effort and a lot of room to grow as he gains experience makes him on of the more intriguing defensive ends to watch come April.
He possesses the natural traits that the dominant rush ends display on Sundays. The way he gets off the ball is unrivaled and his bend around the corner is smooth. Under the right tutelage I believe he can be a double digit sack artist in the league.