So far most Bucs fans are expecting the team to go offense in round 1 of the draft, but what about going defense again for a second straight year. I think most would agree that the team could use more pieces on that side of the ball starting with S, DE, and DT as the main needs. Unfortunately for the Bucs the top two safety prospects will likely be gone before 19, but that is ok as this draft is full with quality safety prospects that will be available till day 3 of the draft.
However, there will be some talanted edge rushers available at 19, and with this being a passing league teams can always add more pass rushers. The Bucs D-line is pretty good already with Noah Spence, Robert Ayers, Gerald McCoy, plus Clinton Mccdonald, and hopeful return of Jack Smith which gives the team potential of being one of the most feared front fours in the league. With that being said, Smith hasn’t been able to stay healthy and Ayers is over 30 and the team would like to play him inside more often.
So that brings me to one player that has been linked to the Bucs in mock drafts, and that is Missouri’s DE Charles Harris. Harris is one of the pure edge rushers in this draft, combining for 16 sacks over the last two seasons. Former scout and NFL Network’s Daniel Jeremiah had good things to say about Harris and feels him and Spence would take the Bucs D to the next level.
“The Bucs hit a home run with the selection of Noah Spence in the 2016 draft,” Jeremiah wrote. “Harris would give them another fastball coming off the edge, taking their defense to another level.”
DE Charles Harris- 6’3 255lbs 61 tackles, 9 sacks, 10 hurries, 12 TFL
Strengths: Harris just knows how to rush the passer and seems to come alive as a player when it is a passing situation. Harris has multiple rush moves at his disposal including a inside spin along with a outside rip that is very potent. Plus he uses a stutter-step bull rush that is effective getting tackles off their spot and keeping them off balance. Harris doesn’t have a explosive first step but is quick enough and has a non stop motor in which he is always flying to the ball. Harris understands how to convert speed to power and does it pretty well.
Weaknesses: Similar to Noah Spence, He can get lost in the run game and loose track of the football. He needs to become more consistent with his hands in his pass rush, would like to see more violent approach to create separation. Can be better at point of attack.
Overall, Harris would give the Bucs a deadly edge rush combo between him and Spence as that would be tons of speed off the edge to deal with. From a Bucs perspective it makes a lot of sense as it is key to get after the passer especially in the NFC South which has Matt Ryan, Drew Brees, and Cam Newton. Is Harris a top 20 player? I would say as of now he is as he is getting better every year and only has 5 years of football experience as he started playing football as a junior in high school. I think with Jay Hayes coaching him up and learning from guys like Spence, Ayers, and McCoy, Harris could be one of the special talents from this draft. So do the Bucs go defense again? Charles Harris could be a likely candidate at 19.