The Chargers arguably have the best secondary in the NFL after acquiring former Broncos standout Chris Harris Jr. during the latest free agency period. He joins three former all-pro players in Casey Hayward, Desmond King, and Derwin James.
Recently, CBS Sports NFL writer Patrik Walker ranked the top-10 cornerbacks in the NFL right now. With now four former all-pro players, one of them was bound to end up on his list, with a good chance of there being multiple players included.
However, just one of them made Walker’s top-10, and it was the newest addition in Harris Jr.
“New uniform, yes, but you can bet it’s the same Harris coming at you in 2020,” said Walker. “The long-time Broncos terror climbed his way out of the ranks of the undrafted in 2011 to become a four-time Pro Bowler and three-time All-Pro corner in Denver, helping lift the club to a Super Bowl victory in the process. As he readies to suit up at SoFi Stadium, he does so with a seriously large chip on his shoulder, looking to prove wrong those who think he’s somehow taken a step back entering his 10th season. With the assistance of Hayward — who could’ve easily swapped places with him on this list — the Chargers are set up to enjoy the best version of Harris. Will he end up being top dog in Los Angeles over Hayward? Well, let’s find out in 2020.”
Harris Jr. is coming off what many would qualify as a down year by his standards. Last season was the first time since he was a rookie that he did not record multiple interceptions in a season. That’s likely due to the veteran playing over 90 percent of his snaps on the outside as opposed to his usual 50/50 split between there and the slot.
Great play by Chris Harris Jr. in man coverage on Allen Robinson.— Brandon Thorn (@BrandonThornNFL) September 16, 2019
Love how quickly he uses a hand to establish contact/position, reads the ball, and times his jump perfectly for the PBU pic.twitter.com/qnK6svCwYU
We know he’s going to be playing the slot primarily with the Chargers since that’s what he’s personally told the media. That obviously means King will lose snaps at that spot but it doesn’t automatically mean he won’t be playing a role in this defense since he can essentially fill in at any other spot in the secondary.
I think the success of this entire unit may actually rely heavily on Harris Jr.’s return to form. Now, it may not be the same level of play from three years ago, but anything close to that would bring some much-needed tenacity to a defense that didn’t nearly take the ball away enough in 2019.