The Denver Broncos fifth best player is none other than Chris Harris Jr. who is coming off a torn ACL and is now a full go for the 2014 regular season. Harris is also the only non-first round pick within our Top Six. T.J. Ward was a second round pick. That is even more remarkable given that Chris Harris Jr. went completely undrafted. NFL Scouts whiffed big time by passing on this baller.
It helps that the Broncos are loaded with talented defensive backs, bringing in the aforementioned Ward, along with Aqib Talib and drafting Bradley Roby in the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft. The depth just keeps on giving with Kayvon Webster also back there.
Why is He a Top Bronco?
Chris Harris was quietly a shut down corner in 2013 and he didn't even get to play in the Super Bowl. My favorite stat line from last season was a straight up comparison between Harris and media darling Richard Sherman. Sherman in coverage allowed one touchdown catch per 501.5 snaps for .42 yards per snap having covered the #1 wide receiver just 27% of the time. Meanwhile, Harris allowed just one touchdown per 1059 snaps for .53 yards per snap having covered the #1 wide receiver 32% of the time. Harris is a superstar in my book.
Coming off a torn ACL is going to be tough, but he should be able to work his way back into his elite form by the playoffs if all goes well. Us Bronco fans know well how badly his presence was missed in February, so all we can ask for is a good long healthy seasons for Harris. Just in time for a dominating playoff run!
Chris Harris Jr Career Stats
2013 brought fewer game-changing players, but did bring a more complete game. Being the greedy fan I am, I would love to see some improvements all around in 2014 from a statistical standpoint. With Peyton Manning commanding the most powerful offense in NFL history, I am okay with a little more risk taking on defense.
Projecting Chris Harris Jr. in 2014
So what will Chris Harris do in 2014? I think it will take him four to six weeks to get back into game speed shape, so it may be a bit of an up and down kind of journey for him early on. I think he'll find his legs again though and end up fresh and strong for the playoff run. The sky is the limit for this defensive unit, so "excited" doesn't even begin to describe the hype coursing through my veins.
As far as stats, the interceptions will come, but I would like to see more pass defenses from Harris this season. The more he gets then the more opportunities he will have to get those interceptions. We'll see though. Two. More. Days!