Saints Player Rankings: Pro Bowler Deonte Harris comes in at No. 20
Why Is Harris Not Higher
To begin, the obvious should be stated in regards to why Harris is a part of the lower half of this top 25 ranking. Special teams players do not and never will receive the praise that players at more glorified positions receive.
Despite being one of just four players on this entire list to receive the honor of All-Pro First Team, Harris is ranked below an assortment of other players primarily because of his position.
To be fair, even breaking the top 25 is an impressive feat for Harris considering the likelihood that most other fanbases would have a hard time remembering their punt returner.
A punt or kick returner will never win the MVP or sign major contracts like those at the wideout or quarterback. However, their production can still be game-changing and integral to a teams’ success.
Another reason behind the reluctance to place Harris atop the list is the relatively small sample size that fans have had the chance to see so far.
Of course, every fan loves big plays but the importance of avoiding a costly fumble on these returns is far more important than a chance to score. That fast-paced mindset that often results in simple mistakes and turnovers is one area where Harris struggled early in the year.
Currently, Harris has an extremely high ceiling as a player. Harris has earned the highest honor possible for the punt returner position in his rookie season, but he is just scratching the surface.
In order to become more useful like now-retired returner Devin Hester, his role as a part of the offense receiving and rushing needs to expand and his utility will become greater than that of a special teams weapon.
Harris has already begun to take on new roles in the offense but lacks real production in the limited chances he’s been given.
In order to ascend these rankings even further, not only will Harris be expected to continue his production as a returner but he will have to overcome his shortcomings.
Minimizing mental errors and realizing his potential as an offensive weapon could make him an invaluable piece of the Saints organization. Similar to Tyreek Hill, Harris could potentially become much more than a skilled returner and a historic Saint if he continues to prove himself.