Those of us here at MHH would agree with Champ Bailey that Chris Harris, Jr is playing better than any NFL cornerback right now. Coming from the NFL's all-time leader in Pro Bowl selections for a CB (12), that's high praise.
Following his retirement press conference at Dove Valley, Bailey was asked by CBS Channel 4's Vic Lombardi: "Is Chris Harris really the best defensive back in the game right now?"
"He's playing better than anybody. I think even he would be more reluctant to say he's the best, you know, until he does it a few years, but he's playing better than anybody." - Champ Bailey
When pressed by Lombardi as to why he feels that way about Harris, Bailey said this:
"Well, one---he works his butt off. We always preached 'practice, practice, practice', from day one, but you know, this guy really took it to heart. His preparation is probably the best you're gonna see. He's always gonna be prepared every game."
Harris has been targeted 54 times, but has only relinquished 26 receptions. Those 26 receptions have added up to only 193 yards of offense. NFL quarterbacks collectively have earned a 41.7 rating (QBR) when throwing into Harris' coverage. He really is playing at a phenomenal level.
Last week, he was targeted 3 times by Shaun Hill, but allowed zero receptions. Harris has been a revelation for the Denver Broncos secondary. What makes his 2014 production that much more impressive is the fact that he partially tore his ACL in the Broncos Divisional playoff victory last January over the San Diego Chargers.
And yet, week in and week out, he has quietly dominated every opponent in 2014. He is well on his way to not only his first Pro Bowl berth, but likely All-Pro honors, if he can continue to produce at this level.
For what it's worth, Harris is the highest rated CB in the NFL, according to ProFootballFocus, with a +16.3 cumulative grade through 10 games. Like his mentor, Champ Bailey, one thing that sets him apart is his willingness to stick his nose in the backfield in run support and make a one-on-one tackle. He has 9 such stops on the season.