Next season, the Patriots #1 overall pick in 2019 will be looking to prove why he’s the best wide receiver in New England.
N’Keal Harry spent three incredibly successful years playing at Arizona State University. During his three years there, he continually developed his game, and got big results doing so. Each year, he had better stats in almost every category than he did the year before.
In both 2017 and 2018, Harry ranked second in the Pacific 12 conference for receiving yards. In both cases, he had over 1,000 yards on the season. He also placed 2nd and 4th in total receptions in these two years.
After completing his junior year at ASU, Harry was a lock as one of the top receivers in the 2019 draft.
Harry ended up being selected 32nd overall in the draft, to the reigning Super Bowl champion New England Patriots.
Unfortunately, the ASU grad aggravated an ankle injury he had been dealing with all summer, just weeks before the season opener. The Patriots seemed to be fine though, with a stacked WR core of Julian Edelman, Antonio Brown, Demaryius Thomas and Josh Gordon. This group however was quickly disbanded with Brown’s release, Thomas’s trade, and Gordon’s suspension.
Tom Brady’s wide receivers struggled after this, so the team heavily relied on the run game and defense. Finally in Week 11, the first round pick made his NFL debut in a 17-10 victory over the Philadelphia Eagles.
Mike Evans 2.0
Harry is not a small, skinny WR. The Canadian born receiver stands 6’ 5”, and weighs 225 lbs. Very similarly, NFL all pro Mike Evans weighs the same and is an inch taller.
These aren’t the only similarities they have though. For their size, they both have extremely impressive speed, making them deep threats. For smaller defensive players, it’s not easy to tackle them. In Harry’s seven games played, he had a total of 37 yards after contact, maybe his most impressive stat.
In Week 14, he was involved in one of the most controversial calls of the year. Harry took a hit after a catch and dove into the endzone. He was ruled out of bounds, but it was very clearly a touchdown, and the play couldn’t be reviewed. The Patriots ended up losing the game, but his play showed how powerful he is and his potential to be a dominant receiver.
While there is much room for improvement, maybe one day Harry can be a top WR.
Photo credit: Patriots Wire