DAVIE, Fla. (AP) — The Miami Dolphins addressed one of their many defensive needs Thursday night by selecting Missouri end Charles Harris with the 22nd pick in the NFL draft.
The 6-foot-3, 253-pound Harris is considered better as a pass rusher than against the run. He had seven sacks as a sophomore in 2015 and nine last year.
Harris joins a defense that allowed a franchise-record 6,122 yards last season even though Miami made the playoffs for the first time since 2008. He’ll likely be groomed as an eventual replacement for five-time Pro Bowl end Cameron Wake, who is 35.
The Dolphins ranked 30th in run defense last season, and tied for 19th in sacks. Harris is projected to join the Dolphins’ rotation at end immediately under new defensive coordinator Matt Burke.
Miami chose Harris over Alabama linebacker Reuben Foster, who was among the highly regarded defensive players still on the board.
Also available were Western Kentucky guard Forrest Lamp and Miami Hurricanes tight end David Njoku. Both were believed to be on the Dolphins’ radar, but they were widely expected to devote their top pick to defense.
Miami remains in the market for help at linebacker, cornerback and safety.
Harris had 18 career sacks and 34.5 tackles for a loss at Missouri, where he was a three-year starter.