When you’re a first round draft pick in the NFL, expectations tend to run high. And it’s no different for rookie defensive end Charles Harris, whom the Miami Dolphins drafted with the 22nd overall pick in April’s draft.
And Harris has been doing his part and more, impressing teammates, media, and fans alike when word came that Harris had contacted former Dolphins and Hall of Famer Jason Taylor to ask if they could work out together in an effort to glean knowledge from one of the best to play his position.
The good impressions continue, as several of Harris’s teammates have commented on the explosive young rookie’s prowess and mindset during minicamps this month.
“Very explosive, and he wants to learn,” says fellow defensive end Andre Branch of Harris. “That's the biggest thing. He always ask questions. He's not an 'I know it all' type of guy. He's a kid that wants to learn and just keep getting better and wants the respect out of his brothers. And that's what we are going to give him.”
“Charles, in my opinion, is a very focused kid,” says Pro Bowl defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh. “He's very excited about his approach to the game. He's very detail oriented, obviously takes coaching very, very well, implements it very quickly as you coach him up in-game, and (he) listens. Obviously he has been running with the ones and getting a lot of play time in our package we like to run in regards to pass rush. He has had a lot of good things from my opinion.”
But along with all the high praise, Suh is quick to throw out a word of caution.
“Everybody has got a lot of work to do, so we've got a long way ahead of ourselves."
One player that is especially excited is the guy that Harris will likely replace eventually. Although perennial Pro Bowler Cameron Wake shows no sign of slowing down as he approaches his age 35 season, he knows that Harris is the future, and likes what he sees in the young rookie who is already drawing comparisons to Wake.
“Physically, he's very gifted,” says Wake. “He's obviously explosive, aggressive, and obviously to play this position, there's no other way that you can be successful unless you have those tools.”
And Wake is enjoying his time practicing with Harris.
“(He’s) lots of fun,” says Wake. “I've had a lot of time to sit down and spend with him. Obviously he's going out there and getting after it. I know you guys probably saw some of the plays we've run together. I'm excited. I'm excited for him. I think he has the right mentality and the right mindset to come into this game and be able to be successful. If you add that mindset and that mentality with physical talent and physical gifts and hopefully a little bit of urging from some of the veterans around here and the coaches, I think he's set up in the right place to make plays."
This story was written by Eldon Jenson. Follow him on Twitter @EJFootball
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