The Patriots selected rookie receiver N'Keal Harry in the first round of the NFL Draft from Arizona State, and he should be considered a potential starter for the receiver-needy New England offense. This offseason, the Patriots lost Rob Gronkowski (retired), Josh Gordon (suspended), Chris Hogan (Carolina) and Cordarrelle Patterson (Chicago), and Harry will likely compete with Phillip Dorsett for a starting job. Harry should at least be No. 3 on the depth chart, and he's worth drafting with a late-round pick in all seasonal leagues. In rookie-only drafts, Harry could be the first receiver off the board given his expected role in New England, as well as playing with Tom Brady.
Harry saw his share of work with the Patriots' starters during Tuesday's minicamp session, Jeff Howe of The Athletic reports. The rookie still has a way to go when it comes to gaining chemistry with quarterback Tom Brady, but as the first wide receiver taken in the first round by the Patriots in the Bill Belichick era, Harry should get every opportunity to make an immediate splash on offense. Julian Edelman remains entrenched in a high-volume slot gig, but with Josh Gordon's playing status in limbo, there's a path for Harry to open the coming season in a key role. He'll have to fend off Phillip Dorsett -- who was productive at times last season when the team's wideout corps was shorthanded -- as well as Demaryius Thomas, who is working back from an Achilles' injury. As a big-bodied pass-catcher with top-shelf body control, Harry possesses fantasy appeal as a rookie that extends beyond dynasty formats.
The Patriots selected Harry in the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft, 32nd overall. New England was a candidate to trade out of its first-round pick, but after only Marquise Brown came off the board at receiver, the Patriots were able to address a need in a big way. Harry is a big (6-foot-2 3/8, 228 pounds) and physical receiver with some of the best body control of any wideout in the class. He was a three-year starter at Arizona State who recorded two 1,000-yard seasons for the Sun Devils and left Tempe with 22 career receiving touchdowns. That he went before the likes of A.J. Brown, D.K. Metcalf and Hakeem Butler suggests that the Patriots felt that Harry's play style best fit what they want to do in the passing game. Harry can be a big slot in the NFL similar to a Michael Thomas role but he also would fit as a boundary receiver who could potentially start over Phillip Dorsett.
|* indicates player did not play that week|
|WK||DATE||OPP||OPP RANK||OPP FPTS|
|3||09/22||New York Jets||32||27.38|
|6||10/11||New York Giants||10||20.75|
|7||10/22||@New York Jets||32||27.38|
|14||12/08||Kansas City Chiefs||21||22.67|