Who will step up from the 2017 NFL Draft?
The Atlanta Falcons traded their 2021 7th round draft pick to the Miami Dolphins for former first-rounder Charles Harris. Harris was then – via Atlanta Falcons – added to the seemingly long list of players from the 2017 NFL Draft that will have their fifth-year options declined.
Since being drafted in 2017, Harris has only started eight games in his career and only amassed a total of 3.5 sacks on his career thus far and only had over 20 tackles in a given season (23 tackles in 2019).
Harris will be competing with Takk McKinley to play the opposite of Dante Fowler. McKinley was taken just four spots behind Harris at 26. While he has had a much better career than Harris, the Atlanta Falcons declined his fifth-year option as well. Thus making the 2020 season the most important for both players in regards to their futures outside of Atlanta.
2020 should see both players compete at their highest levels and could place more pressure on McKinley to succeed as the trade for Harris makes McKinley more expandable than he already was. Maybe I’m reading too deep, but based on McKinley’s social media posts, it can be said that he is looking for a fresh start.
Takk’s play on the field was never the main reason for the team declining his fifth year, his injury history had to of been the biggest cause of concern. If we are measuring in sack totals, McKinley has the third-highest total from the 2017 draft behind T.J. Watt and Myles Garrett.