Three years after they received him as their first-round draft candidate, the writing seems to be on the wall: N’Keal Harry’s days as a member of the New England Patriots are numbered.
The 32nd election for the 2019 draft saw Harry fight to create a consistent role in the guilt of the Patriots. Although he appeared in 35 games in his first three seasons in the league, he caught just 59 passes for 519 yards and four touchdowns – all of which were primarily a depth option and block the receiver.
In 2021, he was the team’s fourth choice in that position. Harry recorded 12 receptions for 184 yards, taking 331 domains out of a possible 1,169 occupation photos for 28.3% of playing time; His most notable play may have been the failure of Bunt’s return against Buffalo Bills in Week 13.
The 24-year-old was leaving Foxborough before the Patriots bought fellow White receiver Devonde Parker out of business over the weekend. However, the move further clarifies that the team is ready to move in a different direction at the X-receiver location: Parker is expected to play the same basic role as Harry, but offers proven production at the NFL level. Versatile capacity.
As a result of this business and Harry’s frustration over the past three years, it seems that divorce is coming soon. If that happens, the Patriots will try to ease the trade: trading him will generate more net cap savings ($ 1.17 million) than direct output ($ 493,111).
The question, obviously, is who would be willing to invest resources in the former first-round exam. There are some teams that come to mind.
With Calvin Ridley suspended for a year and Russell Cage leaving the free company, the Falcons could be relegated to the worst wide receiver depth rankings in the NFL.
Returning players Olamide Zaccheaus, Frank Darby, Austin Trammell and Chad Hansen together have 55 passes, while free agency signatories Auden Tate, Cottrell Hodge and Damier Byrd are not world record holders. Needless to say there is a definite need to find extra bodies and potential improvements in Atlanta.
Will N’Keal Harry be like that? Probably not. However, after three disappointing seasons he will continue to offer experience and something even more powerful: the first round legacy.
Beggars, as the old saying goes, cannot be pickers. So in order to get the hands of a player with some talent, but to get a player who is not in the right place to live up to his talent, the Falcons may be ready to break away from the late round selection.
Unlike the Falcons who recently traded long-term opening quarterback Matt Ryan, the Bears have already found their future quarter. However, the supporting cast around Justin Fields does not have to be filled with proven talent – especially following Alan Robinson’s departure from the free company.
Although Dornell Mooney is a good receiver from two production seasons, the depth behind him is questionable. At the moment, the free agency combinations Byron Pringle and Equanimous Saint Brown programs are the next best options. Not to mention the need for additional updates.
The Bears will go to draft to find them, but after going to selected fields last year and trading first-round picks, they are likely to lose the ability to get the top tier. But even if they could get one of the best whiteouts available on board, adding more capable playmakers might be on General Manager Ryan Base’s agenda.
Harry has not proven himself that way, but the Bears may be a team ready to find out if they can help save his life – all of which give their young QB a great physical and athletically interested getting option.
Despite being a superstar in the CeeDee Lamb production, there is still plenty of room for improvement in the rest of the Cowboys White Receiver team. That’s why Dallas has been actively pursuing a wide range of efforts this off-season, including the acquisition of New Patriots DeVante Parker.
So far, however, only former Pittsburgh Steelers receiver James Washington has been included. That’s why Blogging The Boys’ David Howman urges the team to start a business with New England and bring Harry on board:
[W]Why should cowboys be interested in Harry? Well, for starters, he’s the player this team is looking for. He was a former first-round pick and is now available at a very low price. … Harry’s elite product in college, his strong athletic and physical profile and how things have turned out for him so far, the only way to unleash the potential of this former first-rounder seems to be to change the landscape. That new landscape is supposed to be Dallas, where recipients are needed after the appearance of the Cowboys [Cedrick] Wilson is leaving Amary Cooper to trade at the free agency, and Michael Caleb is not available to start the season.
Harry will not replace Wilson or Cooper, and he will not be responsible for Michael Galep’s sudden illness. He said he would represent a low-risk / high-reward acquisition for the team:
If the Cowboys are able to pick Harry late on the 3rd day, or sign a very cheap contract if he is released, they will get a player with elite characteristics and strong potential at a rare low price. If that doesn’t work, the Cowboys have not lost their true value. But in doing so, if Harry regains the form he chose in the first round, it will be a huge slam for a much-needed front office.
It would be a surprise for Harry to suddenly live up to his first-round label, but that chance alone might be worth a shot in Dallas view.
Green Bay Packers
Aaron Rodgers is back, but the future Hall of Fame quarterback had to look at three of his top five white receivers a year ago from the free agency. Among them was All-Pro Devante Adams, who traded with the Las Vegas Riders in 2021 after catching more passes than other Packers’ white receivers.
N’Keal will not help Harry replace Rodgers’ favorite receiver, but he may help lift the unproven level team’s base out of Alan Lazard and the fallen Randall Kobe. It may only be worth the late draft selection in Packers’ view – and only to show Rodgers that something is being done to deal with the situation.
Nick Caeserio, director of New England players for a long time, has never backed down from looking at his former club for talent: this time around, eight former patriots are under contract with Texans, who added Casario as their general manager in 2021.
They include two broad recipients of the brand, Cookes and Philip Dorset, and they are currently acting as starters. The other level in-depth chart is no better: with the exception of second-year male Nico Collins and free agency pickup Dacin Hamilton, Houston have no real proven talent under contract at the wide receiver spot.
Harry may not be an upgrade – at least not if he’s been judged by his performance in New England so far – but he offers more potential than the likes of Johns Camp, Damon Hazelton or Davian Davis. Like the other four teams on this list, it may only be worthwhile to make a late-round choice or invest in a deeper player in a trade.
Battle Red blogger Jeremy Brenner made that argument last season, after Harry’s agent publicly asked his client to trade:
Coming to Houston can be the perfect mix of new scenery and familiarity. … As a restructuring team, the Texans should welcome as much talent as possible. Harry delivers this, and Houston wants to trade for him. I could not have imagined Harry going to the seventh round test this time around, so in case he didn’t work out, the Texans wouldn’t have spent much. This is a very risk-averse, highly rewarding scenario that will spur interest in rebuilding teams like the Texans.
Although circumstances have changed over the past year – initially, Houston head coach David Gully was fired – in Houston’s view the basic idea of trading for Harry remains the same. The difference between the Texans and the Falcons, the Bears, the Cowboys and the Packers is that they know their GM Harry inside and out, and considered him worthy of a first-round draft exam three years ago.