There’s a lot of great cornerbacks in the NFL, but I think that the Denver Broncos‘ Chris Harris should at least be in the Pro Bowl conversation. I understand that he likely won’t officially make the squad, but he deserves to be in the discussion. This guy was undrafted, but the Broncos took a shot on him, and it has paid off much better than the Broncos could have imagined.
Harris’ job may also be one of the toughest in the league considering that he plays on the opposite side of the field as Champ Bailey, who is looking to go to the Pro Bowl for the 12th time in his 14-year career. You can only imagine how often opposing teams will look to throw Harris’ way to avoid dealing with Bailey.
Harris entered his second season as a Bronco planning to be in nickel packages and a special teams player, but when free agent pickup Tracy Porter was sidelined, the Broncos turned to Harris. Nine games later, Porter is almost forgotten in Denver.
How has Harris responded to the added pressure of starting and playing opposite of Bailey? Remarkably. Harris has starting the last 10 games and during that time he has recorded 51 tackles, 2.5 sacks, three interceptions and 11 passes defended. One of those interception he returned for a 98-yard touchdown against the Baltimore Ravens that pretty much put sealed the win for Denver. If he had played the first three games of the season, he could have easily put up 80 tackles, four sacks, five interceptions and 20 passes defended this season, at the rate he’s going.
Even more remarkable is that he hasn’t been beat very often, as you would expect from a young player with so much on his shoulders. You can bet he’s been tested by opposing quarterbacks and offensive coordinators, but as the season goes on, we’re seeing less and less of that and offenses are having to deal with both Bailey and Harris.
This is an offensive coordinator’s nightmare. all because Harris has stepped up and is playing at as high a level as any cornerback in the league. If he finishes the year the way he’s been playing in Porter’s absence, there’s no way Harris can be left out of the Pro Bowl discussion.
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