With the 32nd pick in the NFL Draft, the New England Patriots select N’Keal Harry! Harry is a big bodied receiver with type-A swagger. He was a consistently productive wide receiver during his three-year college career at Arizona State. Could he be the answer to the void left in the Patriots offense by the departure of Rob Gronkowski? Let’s break down the player and his new opportunity in New England, to see what kind of fantasy value Harry offers for this season and beyond.
Fantasy Football Outlook for Patriots 2019 First Round Pick N’Keal Harry
As previously mentioned, Harry is a bigger wide receiver at 6’2” and 228 pounds, who plays with lots of swag. Harry is a good fit for his new team, the Patriots. He is well-suited for working in the New England offensive scheme. His ability to body-up opponents and make contested catches should help to endear him to his new quarterback, Tom Brady. Harry has been compared to NFL wide receiver Allen Robinson by some scouts. Imagine what Allen Robinson could do playing in New England with TB12.
Harry has been knocked in his scouting reports for not having breakaway speed. However, he ran a 4.53-second forty-yard dash, so his speed is adequate. More importantly, he can catch and he can block. These are two skills that the Patriots put a premium on. Of course, the ability to create separation is important, however. Brady can throw the ball into tight windows so that’s where Harry’s contested catching skills will help him out.
During his three-year college career, Harry amassed 213 catches, 2,889 yards, and 22 touchdowns in 37 games. A per game average of 5.8 receptions, 78.1 yards, and 0.6 touchdowns. However, that includes his freshman season, in which he did top all freshman receivers, but with 58 receptions, 659 yards, and five touchdowns. He was able to eclipse 1,000 receiving yards in both his sophomore and junior seasons. Nevertheless, Harry will look to improve on those numbers during his pro career. It would appear that he’s landed with the right team to help him do that. [Statistics found at College Football Reference].
Last Word on N’Keal Harry
The Patriots offense is very complex, making it difficult for new receivers to come in and have an immediate impact. That being said, It’s unlikely that Bill Belichick would select a player in the first round that doesn’t have the mental capacity to learn the playbook. There will be a steep learning curve ahead for Harry and it will be important for him to learn the ins and outs of his new offense. More importantly, though, he needs to spend lots of time with Brady and earn his trust.
Hopefully, we will hear about how much time Harry is spending with Tom and getting in his good graces. If he can earn Brady’s trust, the sky is the limit for the rookie receiver. With the departure of Gronk and the long-term suspension of Josh Gordon, the Patriots could use another talented receiver on the field to help share the load with Julian Edelman. There’s lots of time between now and the start of the regular season for Harry to get in and fit in, with his new team. How that transpires and what his role with the team will ultimately be is yet to be determined.
However, should Harry work his way into being a day one starting wideout for the Patriots, his fantasy football stock would be that of a WR3 with upside. Subsequently, until we see where he sits on the depth chart leading up to the season, it’s hard to make any predictions for 2019. Nevertheless, Harry couldn’t have gotten drafted into a better situation because when he does take the field, it will be to play with a Hall of Fame quarterback and under the tutelage of a Hall of Fame coach. Needless to say, the future looks bright.
Look for Harry to be drafted somewhere in the top five of rookie-only drafts this summer. He currently projects as a nice upside pick in the lower-middle rounds of keeper leagues and as a late-round upside pick in re-drafts. Of course, it’s still very early, and things will most certainly change between now and the regular season, so stay tuned. [Scouting report found at NFL.com].