The Denver Broncos made some significant additions to their interior defensive line. The moves have created a lot of competition at the bottom of the depth chart, especially when there may only be one or two spots available.
One of those competing for a spot is Jonathan Harris, who has been with the Broncos for a couple of years. While he has some experience, the deck seems to be stacked against Harris.
Nevertheless, there could be something in his profile to help us glean his chances of making the roster, so let's dive in.
Harris was born in Aurora, Illinois. He is currently 25 years old but turns 26 in early August. When it came time to go to college, he went south to Missouri to attend Lindenwood University.
Harris redshirted his freshman year, but his final three years were great. He averaged just over seven sacks a season with 22 total during those three years. He also forced four fumbles, recovered a fumble, and picked up an interception.
In the final two years, Harris was named to the First-Team All Mid-American Intercollegiate Athletics Association in 2017 and 2018. He stood out on a team that won 11 games during his three years. After the 2018 season, he was headed to the NFL.
There wasn't an invitation to any of the pre-draft process bowl games or the NFL Combine. I wasn't able to find any Pro Day results either. Unsurprisingly, Harris went undrafted.
After the draft, Harris signed with the Chicago Bears, only to be waived during the final cuts. However, he was brought back to Chicago's practice squad and eventually called up to its active roster. While on the Bears' roster, he played in their Week 4 and 5 matchups.
In those two games, Harris played 30 total snaps picking up one tackle, one missed tackle, and one penalty. He was waived in late October 2019 and was claimed off waivers by the Broncos.
Harris appeared in the final three games for the Broncos, playing 49 total snaps. In these 49 snaps, he picked up four tackles and three stops. Harris didn't see the field often in 2020.
There was some belief Harris would have a decent role on the defensive line for 2021 — not a large one, but one that saw 5-10 snaps each game, barring injuries. That didn't happen, and instead, he played 71 snaps on defense over three games.
Harris did pick up his first career pressure in the Week 17 matchup, which was a good performance by him. Throughout that game, not only did he get his first career pressure, he picked up six tackles and three stops while playing 35 total snaps.
There is a new coaching staff in Denver, and Harris was a favorite of the old regime. He was a developmental defensive lineman that simply hasn't developed.
With the new staff in Denver, there isn't anyone to pound the table for him. He's a long shot to make the roster.
It will take a gigantic step forward with Harris' development to make the roster, and probably a significant step even to make the practice squad.
Follow Erick on Twitter @ErickTrickel.
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