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N’Keal Harry got in a lot of work with Patriots’ starting unit

N'Keal Harry

N’Keal Harry, barely more than a month into offseason training, continues rewarding the New England Patriots’ confidence in him. According to The Athletic’s Jeff Howe, the rookie wideout received plenty of reps with the first-time offense during the opening practice of minicamp, and has even acquitted himself well when matched up against First Team All-Pro cornerback Stephon Gilmore.

Harry got a lot of work with the starters, and those quality opportunities are never promised to rookies at this stage of the offseason program. Granted, as the first receiver Belichick has ever drafted in the opening round, Harry isn’t just any rookie, but it’s still noteworthy. And second, Harry saw a ton of Gilmore. The coaches are making it hard on Harry on purpose, and that’s a good sign. Remember, the coaches were really hard on running back Sony Michel this time last year.

In April, Harry became the first wide receiver the Patriots selected in the first round since the 1990s, evidence of just how intrigued New England was by his level of talent. It’s easy to see why, too. At 6-foot-2, 228 pounds, Harry has elite size for a wide receiver, and ranked among the best players at his position at the NFL combine in bench press, vertical jump, and broad jump, also running a solid 4.53 40-yard dash.

Harry was one of the most productive players in the country during his three seasons with the Arizona State Sun Devils, earning Freshman All-American honors before being named First Team All-Pac 12 as a sophomore and junior. Last season, he caught 73 passes for 1,088 yards and nine touchdowns.