How N’Keal Harry Can Impact the Patriots This Season
The New England Patriots notably selected former Arizona State Sun Devils wide receiver N’Keal Harry in the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft. However, Harry has yet to suit up at the NFL level as the Patriots have been forced to play without the team’s latest first-round pick due to some lingering injury trouble.
Thanks to a nagging ankle injury, Harry unfortunately landed on injured reserve — with a designation to return — prior to the start of the regular season. Nonetheless, with the Patriots yet to lose a single regular season game in his absence this time around, Harry is now gearing up to make his NFL debut sooner rather than later.
It remains to be seen as to what exactly everyone can expect from Harry as the Patriots have been known to both spread the wealth on offense, in addition to the fact that the former collegiate standout is coming off of a serious injury.
One thing is clear at the moment, however, as the Patriots appear primed to take things slow in terms of Harry’s eventual return to the field, as head coach Bill Belichick noted this week.
“We hope he’ll be ready to go,” Patriots head coach Bill Belichick recently told reporters, via NBC Sports Boston, “Physically he needs to be able to show he can go out there and participate competitively at the practice level that we’re at. Hopefully that’s where he’ll be, but we’ll make our final evaluations on that before we put him out there.”
Despite the fact that Harry is just now preparing to return to practice for New England, it is never too early to make bold predictions while it is a solid bet that the rookie pass catcher will perform well for the Patriots.
As previously mentioned, the Patriots love to spread the football out to everyone on offense, something that will certainly benefit Harry early on in his NFL career. Because he won’t be stepping onto the field as the team’s primary target — something that he was accustomed to during his collegiate playing days at Arizona State — Harry won’t have too much pressure placed on his shoulders right off the bat.
Although the Patriots are a bit thin at wide receiver at the moment, a veteran in Julian Edelman still remains the team’s top target with quarterback Tom Brady still looking for his favorite wide out more often than not. With that in mind, it is unlikely that Harry will encounter any double teams, which will be yet another favorable perk awarded to the rookie. A healthy Josh Gordon in the mix will also further such a notion going forward.
There is just simply no chance that the Belichick puts Harry in a position to fail — especially as a rookie in his first few NFL games. While his return to regulation action still remains a few weeks away, it is not farfetched to infer that Belichick is already game planning for the somewhat forgotten about Harry to be inserted into the mix when ready.