Last season, second-year cornerback Chris Harris Jr. had a mini-breakout season, recording 61 tackles, 2.5 sacks and three interceptions in 12 starts (15 games). His production resulted in him being ranked third among Matt Miller's top 100 cornerbacks of 2013 and being ranked fifth overall by Pro Football Focus (subscription required).
But outside of Denver and beyond serious students of the game, Harris' season went seemingly unnoticed. Without Pro Bowl recognition, Harris' stellar play flew under the radar.
That should change in 2013.
"I feel like I am a starting corner in this league, easy," Harris, noted as a nickel defensive back, told Caldwell DenverBroncos.com last Tuesday. "I’m an undrafted guy that’s taking advantage of the opportunity. That’s the easiest way that I can describe it to you. I’m just taking advantage of the playing time I get.”
Harris joined the team as an undrafted rookie in 2011 and went on to earn PFW/PFWA and Football Outsiders' NFL All-Rookie Team honors in year one before bursting into the starting lineup in year two.
As Denver's slot cornerback, Harris will get to go against Wes Welker every day in practice, something that will only make him better.
"He’s one of the best slot receivers, and I think I’m one of the best slot corners," Harris said.
That will be one heckuva matchup to watch in training camp.