We’re finally approaching the beginning of the 2020 NFL season, with only a few weeks left until the first games kick off. I’ll be continuing my Player Profile series in the meantime, where we’ll take a look at each of the players on Atlanta’s roster. I’ll break down their measurables, past production, and try to project their 2020 season with the Falcons.
After taking a look at the projected starters, we now turn our attention to the depth on the Falcons’ roster. Today, I’ll be discussing EDGE Charles Harris—a former first-round pick of the Dolphins who is hoping to resurrect his career in Atlanta.
EDGE Charles Harris
Contract: $1.94M cap hit in 2020, free agent in 2021
Career Production: 41 games played, 8 games started | 61 total tackles, 10.0 TFL, 3.5 sacks, 23 QB hits, 2 PD | 64.2 overall PFF grade
2019 Production: 14 games played, 5 games started | 23 total tackles, 3.0 TFL, 11.5% missed tackle rate, 0.5 sacks, 7 total pressures | 62.3 overall PFF grade
Previous Teams: Drafted in the 1st round (#22 overall) by the Miami Dolphins (2017-2019), Atlanta Falcons (2020)
The Falcons have apparently made it a priority this offseason to target former first-round picks. EDGE Dante Fowler, RB Todd Gurley, TE Hayden Hurst, CB Darqueze Dennard, WR Laquon Treadwell, and LB Deone Bucannon all have top draft pedigree heading into Atlanta. Another such player, added via trade, is Charles Harris, a player whom the Falcons were rumored to be interested in all the way back in the 2017 NFL Draft.
In hindsight, it was probably best that Harris was taken off the board before Atlanta’s pick by the Miami Dolphins—the Falcons would then trade up for Takkarist McKinley shortly afterwards. Harris was an exciting college prospect who dominated during his final two years at Missouri: he posted 18.5 TFL and 7.0 sacks in 2015 and 12.0 TFL and 9.0 sacks in 2016. Heading into the 2017 NFL Draft, his stock was hurt somewhat by an extremely lackluster Combine showing. For what it’s worth, Harris did improve his jumps pretty significantly at his Pro Day, but he still tested out as a lackluster athlete overall.
Harris played a significant role right away for the Dolphins, appearing in 16 games his rookie season and playing 48% of the snaps. It was his best season as a pro: he posted career highs in TFLs (5.0), QB hits (12), and sacks (2.0) and had an above-average 70.1 PFF grade. Harris would struggle to improve upon that rookie season, however, failing to make much of an impact in 2018 or 2019 as he was pushed further down the depth chart. Although Harris has never posted eye-popping production, he’s never graded out lower than a solid starter per PFF. He’ll need to do a lot more than just play solid ball to resurrect his career in Atlanta.
Projection: Charles Harris didn’t come to the Falcons with much fanfare, but he could carve out a role as a depth player at EDGE. While Harris has failed to impress as a pass rusher and hasn’t posted any significant production, he’s a solid backup option at worst who can play against both the run and pass. With only one UDFA to compete against for a roster spot, Harris has a good chance of making the final roster.