The Dolphins completed the task of signing all of their draft picks from the 2017 class on Wednesday when the signed first-round selection Charles Harris.
Harris, a two-year starter at defensive tackle at the University of Missouri, was selected 22nd overall. He signed a four-year deal with a fifth-year team option worth $10.9 million.
Harris’ deal includes at least $6 million guaranteed and it comes in the wake of a college career in which Harris played in 38 games and recorded 136 tackles and 18 sacks.
Harris’s 18 sacks were tied for seventh most in school history and he also recorded 34.5 tackles for loss (tied for 1`1th most in school history) as well as five pass breakups.
A second-team All-SEC selection as a junior in 2016 and as a sophomore in 2015, Harris also forced five fumbles and recovered one fumble during his time working the Tigers line.
The Dolphins current plan is for Harris to work at defensive end behind projected starters Cameron Wake and Andre Branch in their D-line rotation, which should also include William Hayes.
Shortly after they obtained him in the draft the Dolphins said they though they obtained a player in Harris they thought would be long gone by the time their first pick at No. 22 came along.
“He’s explosive,’’ defensive coordinator Matt Burke told reporters shortly after the selection was made. “He’s one of the more twitchy players in the draft. We didn’t think he’d be available for us.’’
The Dolphins are hoping Harris can help boost a defensive unit that allowed 23.8 points per game (18th overall in the league) and 382.6 yards per game (29th in the league) last year.
That defense also ranked fourth best overall in the league in third-down percentage, allowing opponents to convert just 36-percent of those downs while generating 33 sacks, 19th most in the league.
By working him as a rotational end on obvious passing downs, the Dolphins are hoping Harris’s burst and speed can help them better harass the quarterback during what they hope will be a second-straight playoff season in 2017.
The Dolphins went 10-6 to finish second in the AFC East behind the Patriots last year.