When it comes to the Denver Broncos roster, there are two big questions.
Offensive tackle and depth in the secondary. You could also add depth at offensive tackle. As for the secondary, if you want to get specific, it’s all about cornerback.
That’s where third-year cornerback Davontae Harris enters the equation.
As enters his second year with the Broncos, he has an opportunity to become a solution to one of the key problems in 2020 and beyond. If all goes according to plan, he could very well turn into the next “no-name” superstar in Denver’s secondary.
#27 Davontae Harris, CB
Age 25. 5’11”, 200 lbs.
College: Illinois State
Since Denver signed Harris last September, he’s proven he fits the molds of what Vic Fangio wants in a cornerback.
He’s got the right size and traits. Namely Harris isn’t afraid to tackle, attack at the catch point and has decent field vision.
As Matt Miller said in his 2018 NFL draft profile of Harris:
“A small-school sleeper with big potential as a nickel cover man, Davontae Harris is a tough run defender with the height (6’0”), weight (200 lbs) and speed to see the field. He’s a bit of a project coming out of Illinois State, but the tape and tools look good.”
Plus, Harris has now had a season to learn and work with Fangio and defensive coordinator Ed Donatell. Harris knows the system and what is expected of him. He knows how to have success in this defense. Harris also knows what he does well and what he needs to improve.
That goes for his coaches, too. They know Harris’ strengths and weaknesses and can point him in the right direction to become the player everyone expects and hopes.
There’s also the moments Harris flashed last season.
When the MHR staff did a roundtable on who has been the biggest surprise as of early November, Harris got two votes for his play.
That recall ties into all of this.
As our Joe Rowles pointed out in his Most Valuable Broncos series, Harris got a bit lucky last season.
So as Joe said, there was spectacular play with some learning moments.
I’ll add, that’s to be expected with a young cornerback in a new system. After all, Harris was labeled a project entering the draft.
Lance Zierlein added this about Harris in his draft profile:
“Harris struggles to squeeze routes in man coverage and can be beaten down the field, but he has good size and toughness and may offer a team the versatility of playing outside cornerback or safety. Harris needs to play with better anticipation to give him a head start on his transitions out of breaks, but he has a chance to be a decent backup at either cornerback or safety.”
The key is whether Harris is able to take the areas that need improvement and make it happen. Potential is just that until it’s turned into tangible ability.
Harris is a fascinating player.
He has a wonderful opportunity to become the next “no-name” superstar for the Broncos.
It’s somewhat fitting, and ironic, that his name is Harris.
At the very least, he has an opportunity to become an answer to one of the biggest questions for Denver in the 2020 season.
It’s all in front of Harris, The key now is to make it come to life.