Friday, April 5, 2013

Analyst Gushes Over Denver's Chris Harris

Over at Bleacher Report, Matt Miller, B/R's NFL Draft Lead Writer, has been installing a 2013 NFL 1,000 series, ranking the top players at each position in the NFL.

Earlier this week, Miller rolled out his Top 100 cornerback rankings.  Guess which Denver Bronco was in the Top 5?

Not veteran Pro Bowler Champ Bailey.  Rather, the young Chris Harris.

Miller gave Bailey a positive grade, ranking him seventh overall (with a 14-of-15 tackling rating), but Harris was the highest ranked Bronco.  Ranked third among 100 cornerbacks, Harris earned a 64-of-70 rating for coverage and a 14-of-15 tackling rating.
"One of the best-kept secrets in the NFL, Harris is on the verge of breaking out on a national scope," Miller wrote on Wednesday.  The two defensive backs ranked above Harris were Chicago's Charles Tillman and Seattle's Richard Sherman.

Meanwhile, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, who signed a two-year $10 million deal with Denver this offseason, was ranked 21st among corners, earning a 62 (out of 70) on coverage.  Miller calls DRC a "boom-or-bust player," which seems to be an accurate assessment. 

The Broncos' fourth cornerback, Tony Carter, was ranked 62nd, higher than players including Derek Cox, Rashean Mathis, Aaron Ross, and Eric Wright.  Miller called Carter "an impressive nickelback".

Interestingly, the Denver Post has been proclaiming cornerback a huge position of need for the Broncos all offseason, despite the team carrying three Top-21 cornerbacks on the roster, with two of them ranked in the Top 10.  Second-year cornerback Omar Bolden, the team's 2012 fourth round selection, is also expected to see more playing time this year.

It may be that the team wants to move Harris back inside, but DRC would presumably start across from Bailey if that is the case.  Cornerback does not appear to be a big position of need for Denver, but depth never hurts. 

If the Broncos do plan on addressing the position through the draft, they will have six opportunities to do so with their current selections (28th, 58th, 90th, 125th, 161st, and 234th).  The draft is twenty days away.