Denver Broncos cornerback Chris Harris is one of the best in the game, and already this season he has faced some of the top receivers. On Wednesday, he took to the The Players Tribune to list out the top five receivers he’s ever gone up against in the NFL.
The list isn’t all that shocking, save for the fact that it doesn’t include Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones. It’s worth noting that Jones is coming off a 300-yard receiving game in a win over the Panthers, so it’s unclear why he didn’t make Harris’ list. Then again, maybe the article was written before that performance.
Either way, the list includes A.J. Green of the Cincinnati Bengals, DeAndre Hopkins of the Houston Texans, T.Y. Hilton of the Indianapolis Colts and Antonio Brown of the Pittsburgh Steelers. Those are definitely some big names, even if Hilton isn’t typically considered among the absolute best receivers in the league.
Harris calls Brown the “best pure route runner in the league,” while he says Hilton “has an extra takeoff gear that not a lot of guys have.” With Hopkins, he highlights his ability to “turn a 50-50 jump ball into a 70-30 ball,” and offers up similar praise for Green.
But that’s just four players — the fifth receiver that Harris has gone with is actually not a receiver at all, but a tight end: New England Patriots star Rob Gronkowski.
“Yeah he’s technically a tight end, but I’m including Gronk,” Harris wrote, “because when I think about the toughest guys to line up against, he’s the first name that comes to mind.”
Harris said that Gronkowski isn’t just bigger than everybody, but that he runs perfect routes, has amazing hands, and when it comes to his signature seam route, isn’t afraid to take the punishment that comes from the ensuing hit after a reception.
All in all, it’s a pretty interesting read from Harris, one of the league’s premier defenders. These guys get to know each other real well on the field and in the film room, so there’s some good insight on some of the top players in the league.