Immediately after the Miami Dolphins used the 22nd overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft to select Missouri defensive end Charles Harris, the team’s general manager, Chris Grier, met with the media to discuss the selection. He talked about Harris’ love of the game, his pass rush ability, and the Dolphins deliberately staying away from Harris throughout the pre-Draft meetings and visits.
“Today we added Charles Harris from Missouri,” Grier opened his media availability. “He is a player that we had targeted. We love the pass rush that he can give us. It is a position that you can never have enough guys in the league, the way this game is played. We like the kid’s attitude, his competitiveness. This guy loves football. It is very important to him. When you talk to people around the program and do your work on him, you hear all of the same things. This guy is a gym rat. He loves football; it is very important to him. He is passionate.”
Miami knew they liked Harris, with Grier admitting they had two players they really wanted at 22, and Harris was one of them (Grier declined to identify the other player). In order to try to bolster their odds of grabbing Harris, they did not meet with Harris or invite him to Miami for a private workout. “We tried to stay away from him purposely. Again, I know everyone looks for how everyone is doing things and trying to figure out who is coming where and stuff,” Grier explained. He then added, “Everyone is tracking visits and all this stuff. Last year, we selected a bunch of players that we had here in for ’30-visits.’ Teams track that stuff and I know it is [the media’s] job to do that and that is fine. It’s just there are some players that we purposely try and stay away from once we are comfortable with the player, his character and what type of kid we are getting. We just do not feel the need to spend any more time with them.”
Grier explained how the Dolphins got to know Harris if they did not meet with him. “Chris Buford, our area scout there, does a really good job,” the second-year GM stated. “Chris is a very personable kid. He’s a younger scout, but he also...He played football at Baylor. He was a d-lineman at Baylor. This is a player that he really liked and as he dug into the background...He knew a lot of people in the program there that dealt with the kid from the high school level and college. As Chris got to know him and really started selling the kid – he really didn’t have to sell the kid because we watched the film and we liked a lot of stuff we saw on film – but Chris did a great job in presenting him to us.”
The Dolphins had two teams call with interest in trading up to the 22nd overall pick once the team was on the clock, but they were locked in on Harris at that point. “Honestly we really did not talk much about what they were offering because this was a player that everybody in the building – from personnel to coaches – if you see the video of the room, everyone is going crazy.”
The Dolphins will return to the selection process on Friday night with their second- and third-round picks. The Dolphins currently have the 22nd selection in the second round (54 overall) and the 33rd pick (97th overall) in the third round.