Shelby Harris has been amazing in the preseason

SANTA CLARA, CA - AUGUST 19: Shelby Harris
SANTA CLARA, CA - AUGUST 19: Shelby Harris /

Denver Broncos reserve defensive lineman Shelby Harris has played his way onto the team’s final roster this preseason. He’s been outstanding…

Shelby Harris wears no. 96 and looks a lot like Vance Walker did in 2015, making plays against both the run and pass, dominating this preseason for the Denver Broncos.

Harris was a seventh round pick of the Oakland Raiders out of Illinois State in 2014, and has been cut six times since he was drafted.

He was back and forth between the Raiders’ practice squad and active roster before moving on to the New York Jets, Dallas Cowboys, and now Denver Broncos.

He played in eight games total for the Raiders between the 2014 and 2015 seasons, and spent all of 2016 working his way toward what appeared to be his last shot to make it in the NFL.

It appears as though his hard work is about to pay off.

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Harris’ training camp and preseason for the Broncos have been nothing short of remarkable. He’s been the highest graded player on the entire Denver Broncos team, per Pro Football Focus. He’s got the highest run stop percentage among 3-4 defensive ends in the league through three preseason games with five stops in 36 run snaps.

He’s also got the highest pass rush productivity percentage (15.6 percent) with nine quarterback pressures in 48 pass rush snaps, including three sacks in the Broncos’ preseason game against Green Bay.

It’s almost to the point that Harris should sit out the Broncos’ final preseason game against Arizona to preserve him for regular season games.

Preseason performance is not always the best indicator of regular season success, but what Harris is doing is showing off traits that can really help this Broncos team. Here’s an example:

At least at this point, it looks like Harris is the Broncos’ diamond in the rough of the offseason. He was signed to a reserve/future contract in January and wasn’t able to officially join the team until the new league year in March. He was at a disadvantage as the Broncos brought in depth along the defensive line through free agency.

That all being said, you have to bring it on the field, and Harris has done that. He’s more than earned his spot on this team, and appears to be in line to make a significant impact in 2017.