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Champ Bailey is and has been the face of the Broncos secondary, but Chris Harris Jr. is the future of a unit that is already a few years ahead of its time.
As the NFL continues to utilize more three- and four-receiver sets, the slot cornerback position has evolved from being an afterthought to a vital starting position on most defenses.
The face of this new “slot cornerbacks are considered starters” movement is Chris Harris of the Denver Broncos.
Harris was used on the perimeter at times last year, but after bringing in Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie this offseason, it is clear the Broncos value Harris’ play much more in the slot than traditional football idioms would suggest they should.
Denver is putting a lot of faith in Harris to be its full-time nickel cornerback, as it should. Opposing NFL quarterbacks had just a 68.2 passer rating against him, and his 58 tackles prove that he is not afraid to get involved in the run game.
In time, the slot cornerback position is going to be more widely accepted as the full-time position it has evolved into, and Harris will be one of the faces of the new trend.