With the 32nd and final pick in the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft, the New England Patriots selected wide receiver N’Keal Harry from Arizona State. This was a very interesting pick considering Bill Belichick had never taken a wide receiver in the first round before this, but considering how thin the Patriots receiving corps is and how high of a ceiling Harry has, this pick makes a lot of sense.
Meet the Patriots First Round Draft Pick: N’Keal Harry
A Great College Career
As previously mentioned, there is no way that Belichick would take a wide receiver in the first round if he wasn’t really impressed. Harry gave him a lot to be impressed with during his career at Arizona State. In three seasons, he put up 213 receptions for 2,889 yards and 22 touchdowns, including two 1,000-yard seasons in his sophomore and junior years. He was named a to the All-Pac-12 first team in both those seasons.
Harry also proved to be multi-dimensional in college, which is a must for any player in Belichick’s system. He tallied 144 rushing yards and three rushing touchdowns. Harry was also used as a punt returner, especially in his junior season, and he returned one punt for a touchdown. He will almost certainly be able to help the Patriots in multiple ways, but the most important is as a wide receiver.
With no Josh Gordon for an unknown amount of time and the departure of Cordarrelle Patterson and Chris Hogan, New England’s receiving corps is more depleted than ever. They did sign both Demaryius Thomas and Bruce Ellington in free agency, but they still didn’t have that top tier wideout threat. Harry can most definitely be that guy.
How His Skills Will Transfer to the NFL
Another reason why the Patriots decided to draft a wide receiver in the first round for the first time since Terry Glenn in 1996? He’s NFL ready. He stands at a solid 6’2, he is a spectacular route runner, he has really good speed and can cut on a dime.
Oh yeah. And he can also make plays like this:
.@ASUFootball‘s N’Keal Harry just made The Catch of the Year™
This is not hyperbole. pic.twitter.com/aacKaATtmQ
— FOX College Football (@CFBONFOX) October 27, 2018
A lot of people expected D.K. Metcalf to be taken before Harry because of his astounding performance at the combine. However several sources, including Michael Lombardi and Forbes, had Harry ranked above Metcalf. While both will almost certainly be stars, Harry seems to be a lot more versatile to plug into the Patriots system.
Between his ability to get open with his legs and catch the ball in traffic with his strength, he provides a top-caliber threat on the outside that the Patriots have not seen in a while. His yards after catch are also a point of notice. He should have no issue adjusting to the NFL.
Last Word on N’Keal Harry
Harry is everything that Patriots fans should have hoped for with a first round pick. He helps out a serious need on the team, he’s a freak athlete (he also was a basketball star in high school), he’s ready for the NFL, and he has been praised for his work ethic. He has a chance to be a real star in this league, and there’s no better situation in football to be in than being on the Patriots and catching passes from the greatest quarterback of all time, Tom Brady.
Harry seems pretty excited too.
— Joe Pequeno (@JoePequenoTV) April 26, 2019
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