Denver Broncos cornerback Chris Harris may not be well known around the NFL, but an argument can be made that he is one of the best in the game. It can certainly be said that Harris is one of the best slot corners in the NFL, if not the best. That’s saying something for a player who wasn’t even drafted three years ago.
In today’s NFL having two cornerbacks is not enough; it is a passing league and defenses have to counter that. The problem is that playing in the slot is a lot different than playing on the outside, and there are not many who can do it.
Harris explained to the team’s website why he’s good in the slot. He said:
“I really see myself as a starting corner that can play in the slot. The reason why I’m good at slot is because I know what I’m doing. I know the defense. I know the system.
A slot corner, unlike one who plays outside, has to play in concert with the linebackers and safeties which is another strength for Harris. That’s where I can communicate with linebackers, communicate with the safeties and put everybody in the right coverage. That’s something that really sets me apart compared to a lot of DBs.”
When people start talking about the Broncos and all of the talent they have, the typical names always pop up. Those names include: Peyton Manning, Von Miller, Champ Bailey, Ryan Clady among others. All of those players are considered among the best at their respective positions, and if being one of the best at a position is a criteria, then Harris has to be a part of that group.
Pro Football Focus named Harris the 64th best player in the NFL and possibly the best slot corner in the league. He has also shown the knack for the big play including three interception returns for touchdowns in 2012.
Harris enters his third season still under the radar, but make no mistake he is one of the core players for the Broncos. If the defense is going to take the next step, then Harris is going to be a big part of it. The funny thing is that the games for Harris are going to be easy; he is facing the best slot receiver in the league every day in practice. The Broncos could probably sell tickets just to watch Harris and Wes Welker go at one another.
He might not be listed as a starter and there may be more recognizable names on the Broncos, but Harris is an important piece of that defense.
Follow me on Twitter @Jemorrone7