Chris Harris Jr. was named to the NFL 2010s All-Decade Team on Monday as one of two defensive backs to earn the prestigious honor.
During his nine-year career patrolling the “No Fly Zone,” Harris Jr. was named to the Pro Bowl four times, was a first-team All-Pro following the 2016 season and of course is a Super Bowl Champion.
So, that begs the question: Is Harris Jr. worthy of a bust and gold jacket in Canton?
Let’s start off by noting this interesting tidbit: The 2010s All-Decade Team was selected purely as a 52-man group and was not divided into first-team and second-team classifications as it was in previous decades. It is unclear if this would hurt or help Harris’ chances of getting into the Hall, but it does not seem to benefit him.
Sure, making the All-Decade Team enhances his Hall of Fame chances, but he has not sealed the deal by any means. Even Harris Jr. himself admitted he doesn’t feel like he belongs just yet.
“I think I probably need about, probably like, 15 more picks,” Harris Jr. said last month. “Probably get about two more All-Pros, Pro Bowls and I think I should be solidified from there.” He is hoping to play at least five more years in the NFL, meaning he would need to average three interceptions per season to reach his goal of 35 career INTs.
In the first nine decades of the NFL, 145 position players have been selected first-team all-decade. 138 of those 145 are now enshrined in Canton, good for 95.1 percent. Not to mention, two of those seven players not in the Hall of Fame still have modern-era eligibility left – Tony Boselli and LeRoy Butler. Based on this stat, Harris is a likely Hall of Famer, but this is where having one 52-man group with no first or second team complicates matters.
With the all-decade selection, some have said Harris Jr. finally got the love and respect he has long deserved. From an undrafted afterthought to a member of the 2010s All-Decade Team is truly remarkable, but a Hall of Famer? Not quite yet, but he sure is on track with a few more solid years.
With 139 games played, 20 career interceptions, four of those returned for a touchdown and 518 tackles, his current stats say he comes up a little short, but he still has some left in the tank to help solidify his case.
However, opponents and peers alike already claim Harris Jr. is Hall of Fame worthy. Last September, before the first meeting between the Broncos and the Raiders, quarterback Derek Carr called him a Hall of Fame cornerback. Champ Bailey, a Hall of Famer in his own right, has said on numerous occasions that Harris Jr. has been playing at a Hall of Fame level. A no-doubt Broncos Ring of Famer, assuming Harris Jr. has a strong finish to his career, he deserves to join former teammate Von Miller in the Pro Football Hall of Fame someday.