Charles Harris wants you to know he isn’t worried about the Detroit Lions drafting Aidan Hutchinson.
Or Kayvon Thibodeaux. Or any other edge pass rusher in April’s 2022 NFL draft.
Actually, the Lions outside linebacker would welcome anyone the team might select No. 2 overall, or with any of their nine picks.
“Hey, competition breeds greatness,” Harris said Friday in Allen Park. “That’s what it is. The best man plays. That’s how it is. It don’t matter who’s in the room with or without. Competition breeds greatness.
“We’re all scratching for the No. 1 position, the No. 2 position, whatever you want to call it. The best man’s going to show up day in and day out. And that’s what you need to be great — every team.”
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Harris knows what he’s talking about. Draft spots don’t guarantee playing time. He was the Miami Dolphins’ 22nd overall pick in 2017 but had a disappointing three-year run with the Dolphins, starting eight games and totaling 3½ sacks.
Then he found his stride when he signed a one-year deal with the Lions last year, when he was the team’s top free-agent signing and produced a career-best 7½ sacks while starting 14 of 17 games. He was dependable and durable, and chose to return by signing a two-year deal for a reported $14 million this week.
Harris wans to help coach Dan Campbell and general manager Brad Holmes realize their vision of building something new instead of signing with a team that’s already fully formed.
“The foundation has been laid,” Harris said. “I think that’s without a doubt. When guys want to be a part of something that’s special and different and (is uniquely) being built, you want to be part of something being built versus something that’s already built, walk in and just make your bed and lay down. You want to be outside building something brick by brick and sit back and look at your project. That’s just me, personally.
“But I think that what is the desire that everyone has. We want to see this thing come to life and see coach Dan, his vision, and Brad, his vision, the Ford family vision. We want to see all that come to life. We know the history of this team, we know the history of the city and we’re tired of that. We’re tired of that. We’re tired of the negative part and we’re trying to bring the positive.”
Contact Carlos Monarrez at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @cmonarrez.