For most of the season, Harris has been the highest rated cornerback via ProFootballFocus. As it stands, he has earned a cumulative grade of +22.8, with the next closest player being Darrelle Revis with +19.5. Even Champ Bailey, one of Harris' biggest mentors, can't name another player who is outperforming his former pupil.
Harris has been targeted in coverage 77 times this year. He's only relinquished 41 receptions. The average yards gained on completions allowed by him is 7.5 yards, which leads the NFL. Quarterbacks have earned a paltry 46.9 collective rating (QBR) when targeting Harris.
On the season, he's notched 44 combined tackles (42 solo), 3 interceptions and a sack. For a player who went undrafted in 2011, he has emerged in his fourth season as one of the league's elite defensive backs.
But he's never been to a Pro Bowl. When asked if he believes he deserves a trip to the NFL's All Star game, Harris was quite candid.
“I don’t really have to say too much about that," he said via the team. "The numbers speak for themselves and I just try to be consistent every week and I’m doing that.”
Harris is not flashy. He doesn't do a lot of jawing in the media. As such, outside of Broncos Country, he is not well known in the NFL fan community. He's not even in the top 10 in fan voting, but his teammate, Aqib Talib, is and he's had nowhere near as productive a season as Harris has.
NFL fans might not know Harris' name, but you'd better believe that NFL players and coaches do. Harris has earned a Pro Bowl berth and just might find his name on the All-Pro team, when the dust finally settles.
The Broncos recognize his talent and are intent on keeping him in Orange and Blue for a long time, as they recently opened up contract negotiations with him. That's telling, in and of itself, that the team would be willing to risk the distraction in-season, to avoid letting him hit the open market in a couple months.
For now, Harris and the Broncos have their sights set on this week's opponent; the Chargers. Harris has great respect for Phillip Rivers and is looking forward to playing against him again.
“Oh yeah, I always love playing on the road and going to San Diego," said Harris. "I’ve played some of my best games there, so I’m looking forward to it.”
When asked what makes Rivers so good, Harris said this.
“He’s a quarterback [that] has great accuracy, is able to put great touch on the ball and make those tough throws. We know it’s going to be a tough battle going against him every time because he knows us. So it’s going to be a good game.”
Harris is right. Some of his best games as a pro have come against Rivers and company. He'll be looking to extend this precedent this week at Qualcomm Stadium.
A few weeks ago, Brandon Perna produced a video about Harris' quiet dominance of the NFL.