Meet The New Patriots: Wide Receiver N’Keal Harry

The Patriots Selected Wide Receiver N'Keal Harry With Their First Round Pick. Today You Get To Meet The Man Behind The Facemask.

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Meet New Patriots: N'Keal Harry Wide Receiver

It’s not often that theĀ Patriots select a wide receiver in the first round; in fact, the Bill Belichick has never drafted a wide receiver in the first round during his Patriots tenure. That changed last Thursday when New England selected the big and talented wide receiver out of Arizona State, and today you get to meet the new member of the Patriots. The last time New England chose a wideout with their first pick, they chose the late Terry Glenn, who had 90 catches, 1132 yards, and six touchdowns, helping lead the Patriots to Super Bowl XXXI. If Harry can have the same type impact Glenn had, the sky is the limit for this version of the Patriots offense.

Harry, who is listed as 6’3, 230 pounds, was born in Toronto, Canada before moving to St. Vincent and the Grenadines as a baby. He moved with his grandmother to the Phoenix area because there was more opportunity for education and also sports. He began his high school career at Marcos de Niza High School, but he transferred and played out the remainder of his high school years at Chandler High School in Chandler, Arizona.

As a sophomore, Harry played in just nine games, but he did damage. He finished the year with 41 catches, 716 yards, and five touchdowns, which is simply dominant for a high school receiver. His junior year he continued on an upward trend, finishing the year with 30 catches, 657 yards, and a whopping 13 touchdowns. Teams may have held him down a little more between the twenties, but he killed it in the red zone; he also led Chandler to the State title that year. His senior year he finished with 48 catches, 802 yards, and seven touchdowns. He also solidified himself as one of the top wide receiver recruits in the country.

Harry was a four-star recruit, and there was an impressive group of schools interested in him. Arizona State, Texas A&M, Washington, Arizona, Colorado, Nebraska, Oregon, Oregon State, USC, Wisconsin, and Texas all made offers. Ultimately he chose Arizona State over Texas A&M and Washington. It turned out to be the right move as he was able to start all 12 games his freshman year, making 58 catches for 659 yards and six touchdowns. Harry was named a Freshman All-American by Scout.com, Campus Insiders, and Pro Football Focus. He led the nation in freshman receptions, and he was tied for fourth with his five touchdowns.

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His sophomore year, Harry exploded. He improved in every statistical category, finishing the year with 82 catches, 1,142 yards, eight touchdowns, and a very impressive 13.93 yards per receptions. Harry led the Pac-12 in yards per game (87) and also was second overall in total receptions and yards, earning him 1st Team All Pac-12 honors. Pro Football Focus also figured out that ASU had a QB rating of 107.0 when Harry was targetted, which was 16 points higher than anyone in the country. His 82 catches tied him for the third most on one Arizona State season, and he also threw a touchdown. His best game came against Texas Tech, where he finished with 13 catches, 148 yards. one touchdown and he also had one run for 17 yards.

As a junior, which would turn out to be Harry’s last year in college, he continued to dominate Pac-12 cornerbacks at an alarming rate. He finished the season with 73 catches, 1,088 yards, nine touchdowns, and once again his yards per catch average was awesome- 14.90. His yards per reception went from 11.36 as a freshman to 14.90 as a junior, a huge and impressive jump for the talented wide receiver. Instead of returning for his senior year, Harry decided to declare for the 2019 NFL Draft. Some guys jump the gun and decide to leave to early, but that is not the position Harry was in. He proved he could handle to jump in his three years at ASU, and NFL scouts and personnel men obviously agreed considering he was selected with the 32nd pick.

Harry isn’t perfect, but his skills translate very well to the NFL. His combine numbers were solid; 4.53 40-time, 27 bench press reps, 38.5 vertical, and 122 inches on the broad jump. What really matters is what we have seen on film because the film doesn’t lie. Harry is super-competitive, he plays fearless football and shows the utmost confidence in his abilities, he has terrific hands, not just catching the ball but also for getting off jams. Not only can he make the catches down the field, but he also has the ability to run short and intermediate routes, which is the key to the Patriots offense.

Harry does need to work on his overall quickness, and sometimes he has trouble getting off jams, even with his great handwork. Improving his footwork will be the number one goal when he gets rolling with the Patriots, and he also needs to improve in the red zone. Playing with a quarterback like Brady will help him in the red zone, and he has proven in college that he can improve (see his yards per catch) in areas of opportunity. Harry now has a chance to receive the best coaching he’s ever had, and if he continues to work as hard as he did in high school and college, the sky is the limit.

 

 

 

 

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