The Denver Broncos have been victim to one of longest Super Bowl hangovers since their Super Bowl 50 win. As one may recall, that particular Super Bowl set a prime example for defenses all over the NFL. We all know about the dominance Von Miller brings to the table. We also know that the Broncos’ defense has taken a couple steps back in the last few years. However, there is another bright spot who goes criminally unnoticed; that would be Chris Harris Jr.
Let’s get one thing clear right now; Harris is not just a great slot corner, he is also one of the best defensive backs in the entire league. According to Pro Football Focus (PFF), Harris Jr. allowed a passer rating of 57.3 from the slot this season, which was the lowest in the league. His PFF grade for this past season was 86 which happens to be extremely good. He was also ranked in the top 3 for corners by PFF just a couple seasons ago. Not to mention, Harris Jr. is the only defensive back left in the league to have at least two or more interceptions in the past six seasons. An impressive feat when you take into account the other elite defensive backs in the league such as Patrick Peterson, former teammate, Aqib Talib, Darius Slay, and Casey Hayward. The NFL is a league which has become more and more reliant on passing the ball over the years.
When Aqib Talib was his teammate making up the “No Fly Zone” secondary, quarterbacks threw more often towards Talib’s side of the field than Chris’. Do not get me wrong, Talib is also a shutdown corner, but this goes to show just how stingy of a defender Harris Jr. is. Before the Super Bowl 50 season when Antonio Brown got the best of him in a loss, Harris Jr. held an impressive streak for games without giving up a touchdown to his matchup. Also, while we are at it, let’s give some credit to Champ Bailey. When Harris Jr. first came in, it was Champ Bailey playing the other side of the field and let’s just say, whatever advice he has given Chris has paid off so far.
Oh yeah, and Harris Jr. has accomplished all of this despite being an undrafted free agent. The man is one of the premier feel-good stories of the entire NFL and it is time to start putting some respect on the man’s name. Chris Harris Jr. is not just the most underrated cornerbacks in the NFL, but he is also a top five defensive back as well.