The Patriots drafted Arizona State wide receiver N’Keal Harry with the 32nd pick in the first round. Here is the book on Harry and what Patriots fans can expect.
N’Keal Harry, WR, Ole Miss, 6-2 5/8 228
Player Comp: Dez Bryant
Release: Harry needs to do a better job of using his entire body to create separation at the snap. He doesn’t do it with his hands well enough. He struggles against press man and Cover two press corners so he will need work in this area.
Route Running: Harry is an above average route runner who consistently stacks cornerbacks on fade and comeback routes. He can be inconsistent at times but he is most effective on short and intermediate routes. He uses his size to box out cornerbacks and get into position to catch the ball. Harry will continue to get better in this area.
Body Control: Harry has elite body control, especially on back shoulder throws. He does a great job of out positioning cornerbacks and creating separation with his routes.
Hands: Harry has strong hands especially when high pointing the ball. He is a hands catcher but he will body up the ball on slant and drag routes. Harry’s hands make him an elite red zone target.
After the Catch: Harry is not a burner after the catch but he plays faster than he times. He moves well laterally after the catch and can separate in the open field.
Blocker: Harry does a good job of getting insider hand position on defenders as a blocker. He punches, mirrors and sustains. Harry needs to bend a little more. He can be a little stiff at times and it reflects in his blocking.
Final Thoughts: The Patriots needed to upgrade at the wide receiver position and they did exactly that by drafting Harry. Harry is the first wide receiver taken by the Patriots in the first round since Terry Glenn in 1995.
Bill Belichick doesn’t usually draft for need but he recognized that the Patriots had to improve at the wide receiver position.
Harry will make an impact as a rookie provided he picks up the offense and the route adjustments. If he does, the Patriots found themselves the ideal complement to Julian Edelman.