Despite having a down year compared to the kind of product he had seen in previous years, Pro Football Focus still considered Chris Harris Jr. to be an elite slot cornerback in the NFL.
Chris Harris Jr., Denver Broncos
Harris has been a PFF darling for some time and while his play (along with the play of the entire Broncos defense) took a dip in 2017, he remains the standard-bearer at the position. Even in a down season (he allowed three touchdown passes and a 108.8 rating in 37 slot targets in 2017) he had the second-most coverage snaps from the slot per reception allowed (16.3), suggesting teams are still less-likely to throw his way than they are to most other players lined up inside. While he’s not the blitzer that many of the players below are (just two pressures the last two seasons), he remains one of the best tacklers at the position, missing only one a season ago in 45 tries and earning a top 10 run-defense grade at his position.
The opposing quarterback rating was a bit higher than normal, but he was in coverage a lot before a reception was made on the guy he was covering. It’s that lucks bounce that can make or break a team’s or a player’s season.
Without having to face a gauntlet of elite quarterbacks again in 2018, Harris should see a big-time bounce back kind of season.
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