It all started when the former Kansas Jayhawks player failed to receive an invite to the 2011 NFL Combine after a standout college career. He ended up going undrafted, but signed a free agent contract with the Broncos shortly after the draft.
Harris was widely viewed as nothing more than a camp body, with very few people giving him a chance to make the final roster. With a strong training camp he ultimately made the roster, and consistently made plays every time he got a chance to step on the field.
Within two years, Harris had blossomed into one of the premier cornerbacks, and arguably the top slot cornerback, in the league.
His efforts haven’t gone completely unnoticed (he has been selected to four Pro Bowls and three All-Pro teams). Still, when people discuss the best cornerbacks in the NFL, Harris’ name usually gets left out. This was painfully obvious when the NFL announced the AFC and NFC rosters for the 2018 Pro Bowl.
Despite being the second-least targeted cornerback in the league, Harris was left off the AFC Pro Bowl roster for the first time since 2013.
“I’m undrafted. It’s always going to be like that,” Harris said on Thursday afternoon. “I have to go above and beyond on everything that I do even though I have the stats. I have whatever I did, but I’m the second-least thrown at corner in the league as a starter. I think I had a great season this year.
“Teams definitely played me differently. I didn’t get enough targets to be able to change the game like I have in the past. I still had nice numbers and still gave up less touchdowns than a lot of people.”
The four cornerbacks on the the AFC roster are A.J. Bouye and Jalen Ramsey of the Jacksonville Jaguars, Casey Hayward of the Los Angeles Chargers and Harris’ teammate, Aqib Talib.