Jeremy Maclin and Ziggy Hood in 2009, Sean Weatherspoon in 2010, Aldon Smith and Blaine Gabbert in 2011, Sheldon Richardson in 2013, Shane Ray in 2015, and now Charles Harris in 2017. Harris became Missouri's eighth first-round pick in the last nine years, going 22nd to the Miami Dolphins on Thursday in the NFL draft.
Harris might have a story more interesting than all of them. Known mostly for his basketball prowess in high school, Harris picked up a late offer in the lead-up to Signing Day 2013. He was at the time a zero-star recruit, with not even a recruiting profile on most recruiting services.
After a redshirt year, Harris backed up Shane Ray and Markus Golden in 2014, recording four tackles for loss, two sacks, two pass breakups, four QB hurries, and a forced fumble.
In Harris' and Ray's absence in 2015, however, Harris thrived. Over two seasons as D-Line Zou's main man, he logged 30.5 TFLs, 16 sacks, three breakups, six forced fumbles, and 20 hurries. He commanded double teams in 2016 as the rest of the defensive line struggled to find its way, but he still had huge games in conference play: four TFLs against Georgia, 3.5 against Vanderbilt, and two against South Carolina.
Harris' play-making ability was backed up by his personality. He was a charismatic, vocal leader on two teams that needed all the leadership it could get, and he spoke out with pride and confidence during the ConcernedStudent1950 protests and ensuring Mizzou Football boycott in 2015. He was a tremendous representative of the University of Missouri, and he will likely continue to be one moving forward. Congrats to both Charles Harris and the Dolphins.
Get to know Charles Harris:
- Charles Harris: A true difference-maker at Missouri
- Charles Harris vs. Mizzou past and edge rushers present
- Charles Harris declares for 2017 NFL Draft
- Is Charles Harris an Island Unto Himself?
- Charles Harris evolved from “Who?” to “Next Mizzou first-rounder?”