The New England Patriots rarely target a wide receiver in the first round of the NFL Draft, but that changed this year. With the No. 32 overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, Bill Belichick decided to take a chance on big Arizona State wide receiver N’Keal Harry.
It was a bit of a shock, but the move made a lot of sense. With Rob Gronkowski retiring after winning the Super Bowl last season, the Patriots needed another big body for Tom Brady to utilize. Harry certainly fits that bill and is finally back at full health and ready to make an impact.
So far, Harry has played in two games as a rookie. He has caught four passes for 28 yards and a touchdown. The numbers may not look impressive, but the Patriots have to be feeling good about him.
Standing in at 6-foot-4 and 225 pounds, Harry is a physical specimen. He has good speed, route-running ability, and an excellent set of hands and athleticism to go with them. New England has a potential star in the making if he can stay healthy.
Heading into this week’s matchup against the Houston Texans, the Patriots need their rookie receiver to step up and be a massive X-Factor.
Harry to Be A Deciding Factor for the Patriots?
Houston is one of the contenders in the AFC so far this season and they enter this week’s game with a 7-4 record. On the other side of things, the Patriots hold a 10-1 record and are once again the favorites to win the Super Bowl at this stage of the season. This is a game that New England has to play extremely well to win.
Why do the Patriots need Harry to step up this week in particular? Quite frankly, they are dealing with some injury issues at wide receiver with Mohamed Sanu and Phillip Dorsett both still being banged up.
Brady and the offense cannot afford to struggle like they did last week against the Dallas Cowboys. If they do, Deshaun Watson and the Texans are going to outscore them. Harry has the ability to be a go-to target if he plays up to his potential and the Patriots need him this week more than ever.
Harry needs to put up around five receptions for 70 yards and possibly a score. Brady is good enough to spread the football around to all of his available weapons, but he needs a big, go-to body like Harry.
In addition to those points, Harry has the size and athleticism to be a matchup nightmare for the Texans. They do not have the stout defense that they have been known for over the last few years. New England has to take advantage of that and Harry’s size must become a factor.
All of that being said, the rookie wideout is going to be a major deciding factor for the Patriots. If he has a big game, New England will have an excellent chance to pull out a win. On the other hand, if he is quiet and doesn’t make an impact, this game could be tough to win for the defending champions.