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Detroit Lions sign former 1st-round pick DE Charles Harris

The Lions are adding a pass rusher, hoping to find some untapped potential.

Atlanta Falcons v Green Bay Packers Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images

According to ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler, the Detroit Lions are signing defensive end Charles Harris. Contract details have not been made available yet.

UPDATE: Justin Rogers of the Detroit News is reporting that a deal has not yet been reached.

UPDATE 2: The Lions confirmed the signing of Charles Harris on Friday night.

Harris, a 2017 first-round pick for the Miami Dolphins, joins a Lions defensive line that has already added Michael Brockers and maintained Romeo Okwara after a three-year extension.

Harris has struggled to live up to his draft billing in his four-year career. He only has 6.5 sacks in his career, though three of those came last season with the Atlanta Falcons. Atlanta acquired him in 2020 by sending just a seventh-round pick to the Dolphins. They chose not to exercise his fifth-year option, making him a free agent this year.

At 6-foot-3, 252 pounds, Harris is a bit undersized, but he has decent speed. However, that hasn’t translated into the pass rushing skills he showed at Missouri (16.0 sacks total in his final two years).

The Lions appear to hope their new coaching staff will be able to pull more out of Harris than he’s shown in his young career. He just turned 26 years old, so there’s always a chance that a new scene with new coaches sparks something within him. At the very least, he’ll provide some competition at the edge position with guys like Austin Bryant and Julian Okwara.

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