The reaction of Dolphins fans when Miami drafted Missouri defensive end Charles Harris with their first round pick was less than enthusiastic to say the least. Most felt they had passed on a far superior player in Alabama's Reuben Foster, who had been falling drastically due to health concerns.
But the fact of the matter is, the Dolphins knew who they wanted with the 22nd overall pick, and they were shocked that Harris was even available at the time.
"He’s a guy we targeted and we really liked." Dolphins GM Chris Grier said on Saturday. "As soon as we made the pick, Mike (Tannenbaum) and I were getting texts from coaches, scouts and players and people were saying we got a really good player."
Though he wasn't the flashiest choice, it's clear he fits the mold that head coach Adam Gase is looking for in football players. Harris is hungry, determined to work hard, and perhaps most importantly, he's willing to learn.
This is an important aspect for one very big reason. In the official PhinManiacs film review of Charles Harris, it shows that he actually has many similarities to another Dolphins legend: star pass rusher Cameron Wake, who despite being 35 years old, is still as explosive and dangerous as he was in his prime.
Now, as his teammate, Harris will get the opportunity to learn and grow under Wake's guidance and leadership. To make matters even better, Harris is not only willing, but he's eager to learn from one of the greatest athletes and pass-rushers the franchise has ever had.
“It means everything, to be able to come in and learn from him." Harris said on Thursday after he was drafted. "I’m just coming in with a humble attitude, willing to work, willing to take coaching from any and everybody. It’s everything. He’s a great player, and I’m going to learn. At the end of the day, I’m hungry for knowledge. I’m hungry for … I’m hungry to get better at the end of the day.”
There's still plenty for Harris to learn, and as is the case with any newly drafted rookie, there will be growing pains as he makes the transition from college to the NFL. But, with Cameron Wake there to put Harris under his wing, the future is bright for the young Missouri pass-rusher.
"No matter when I would’ve got drafted, I’m going to come into the league and I’m going to dominate." said Harris. "I don’t have the same mindset as everybody else. I’m not trying to just make it there, I’m trying to get there, stay there, dominate, feed my family – everything, for real.”
This story was written by Luis Sung. Follow him on Twitter: @LuisDSung
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