Why Harris and Rodgers-Cromartie are on the list
Bailey's achievements are well-known, but Harris and DRC get my vote for Making the Leap for one simple reason: If they get it done this season, this might be the best corner trio in the NFL.
Let's start with the undrafted Harris. I dialed up Game Rewind to watch his work from last season, in which he graded out as the league's fifth-best corner, per ProFootballFocus.com. In just his second campaign, Harris thrived in the slot, but he showed enough versatility to play outside when asked. Denver used him all over the formation. Harris was disguised in blitz packages and unafraid to roll the dice. End result: He was the only corner to record multiple sacks (2.5) and interceptions (three) in 2012.
Rodgers-Cromartie is more of an enigma. His first three seasons with the Arizona Cardinals suggested a Pro Bowl-caliber player with the potential to outdo his cousin, Antonio Cromartie of the New York Jets. But DRC's past two campaigns with the Philadelphia Eagles were a strange ride. After 13 interceptions in 48 appearances in Arizona, Rodgers-Cromartie picked off just three passes in 29 games in Philly. Still, at just 26 years old, Rodgers-Cromartie has the size (6-foot-2) and speed to be a No. 1 corner, if he feels up to it.
Harris didn't wave many red flags last season. The All-22 revealed the occasional missed tackle, but he graded out well against the run, and I saw Harris chase down ball-carriers from across the field. With more talent in-house, the risk is Harris being drowned out or losing that drive he showed from week to week.
I'm more concerned with Rodgers-Cromartie. His career is an enigma. Coach John Fox believes he can be a top-flight corner -- following in his cousin's footsteps -- but DRC struggled in Philly to jell with Nnamdi Asomugha and, initially, Asante Samuel, another trio that sounded great on paper. He's impressed Demaryius Thomas with his "fast" hips, but Rodgers-Cromartie's raw talent isn't the issue. Larry Fitzgerald called him the "best athlete I've gone against," which makes the past two campaigns even more disappointing.
Harris, meanwhile, is just getting started, and I wouldn't be surprised to see him improve on his interception and sack totals from 2012. He showed promise as a disruptive pass-rusher and he'll be used creatively from wire to wire.