N'Keal Harry WR Arizona State Rd1 Pk32

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I mean, this guy doesn't look to be a great fit in the Pats rigid offensive system. The Pats don't do well with slower but good hands WR who can generate YAC by being slippery or simply out-toughing the defenders or anything.

Seriously, if this guy's skillset can translate to the pros, the Pats will design ways to maximize it. Given that they needed more receivers (until Gronk un-retires around week 10 or so and Gordon comes back) its hard to argue with this pick here.
 

GoDa

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He looks like he'll be pretty good at catching all of Brady's off-target duck throws.
 

( . ) ( . ) and (_!_)

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From his size and ability to run after the catch it feels almost like they just drafted a version of Cordarrelle Patterson that can actually catch. If he can at least force teams to respect the risk of him catching a ball down the field then this could be a very interesting player.
 

Gash Prex

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Looks like a receiver that fits well with Pats - plus he has some speed. Excited for another option for Brady

His 40 time seems way overblown as an issue - ran a 4.5 - the same as Antonio Brown, Dez, AJ Green - and faster than Larry Fitzgerald and DeAndre Hopkins
 

RedOctober3829

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To me it looks like Harry plays faster with the ball in his hands than his times indicate. He's played all over the formation which is big for the Pats. Should be able to compete against big, physical corners which is something they don't have. I'd like to see them double dip tomorrow with a smaller, quicker receiver along with a TE.
 

j44thor

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I wonder how his blocking in the run game is. Certainly has the size/ strength you want but how that translates to the field remains to be seen.

From the little I've read sounds like he could be a possession and red zone monster.
 

Captaincoop

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I always trust Bill, but would have been much happier if there weren't a huge run on D linemen and we got one of those.

Just like last year when all the good linebackers were gone and we got a guard. And look how that worked out, we almost lost the Super Bowl.
 

Cellar-Door

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I think people are overrating how "slow" he is in comparing him to Boldin. His speed times are in the Demaryius Thomas, JuJu Smith Schuster, AJ Green, Dez Bryant range, almost 2 tenths faster in the 40 than Boldin.
 

Super Nomario

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Here was my scouting report for Harry for the Locked on Patriots Slack channel:

Games Watched: Oregon, Arizona, Utah, UTSA

Strengths: Very good height (6023) and rare weight (228) for the position. Lined up both in slot and outside. Solid long speed (4.53 40) when he gets in the open field. Long arms and big hands. Excellent leaping ability. Flashed some ability vs press, particularly against lower-tier opponents. Enough lateral agility to get open on in-breaking routes. Attacks DB’s feet in vertical stems to set up cuts. Tracks vertical passes well, uses big frame to shield ball at the catch point. Hand-fights effectively downfield. Easy hands catcher. Physical at the catch point with great leaping ability. Will make the spectacular catch and displays excellent body control. Excellent YAC ability with creativity and violence. Rarely brought down by the first man. Will make multiple tacklers bounce off him. Many of his big plays come off with big run-after-catch off short passes, even WR screens. Sets up blocks. Physical in the run game, latches on and shows a mean streak when blocking. Did not return a lot of punts but made a huge play with a 95-yard return in the USC game.

Weaknesses: Does not have the long speed to threaten DBs deep off the snap, either against press man or off coverage. Really struggles versus press; does not have the quicks to win the desired shoulder at the line of scrimmage and does not use his hand. Shuffles his feet at the line of scrimmage in stutter steps and goes nowhere. This was even true against mediocre competition. Occasional drops despite good technique. Can be reckless in his quest to get YAC; he completely reversed field three times in four games, which led to two TDs but probably isn’t sustainable at the NFL level. Limited punt return experience and some questions about his judgment (he fielded the aforementioned 95-yard-return at the 5 when he should have let it bounce into the end zone).

Scheme Fit: Flanker or big slot. Best with the ball in his hands so his offense needs to get him the ball in space with screens and gadget plays. Will not separate vertically so will need to play with a QB comfortable throwing 50/50 balls to produce in this area.

Y1 Projection: Will need to be placed in positions where he can’t be pressed, using motion and alignment in the slot. His physicality and YAC ability will play as a rookie but he will have to feel out what he can’t do in the NFL that he got away with in college.

Y2 Projection: Needs considerable refinement in his hands and feet to be able to beat press and play outside consistent. I’m skeptical he can get there, but he does have the strength and arm length to potentially learn some handfighting moves. Still lacks the vertical speed to be a deep threat the same way he was in college. Still can contribute with physicality, run after catch, and big catches in contested situations.

There were other WRs I was higher on (particularly A.J. Brown) but I like a lot of Harry's game. In my WR superlatives I had him as the best hands in the class, arguably the best blocker in the class, and one of the three best run after catch guys in the class.
 

MyDaughterLovesTomGordon

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Checks a lot of boxes for BB: never missed a game, versatile, can win one on one matchups and should draw some doubleteams. Gets a few mentions for "football IQ," and we know how the Pats love guys who love football.

I'm pleased.
 

j44thor

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Great write up SN. My understanding is that Hogan was highly regarded for his blocking so perhaps the year 1 expectations should be a Hogan replacement with a much higher ceiling. This offense is likely to continue to become more balanced if not a run heavy team, adding a 220 lb blocking WR can only help.
 

DrewDawg

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I wonder how his blocking in the run game is. Certainly has the size/ strength you want but how that translates to the field remains to be seen.
I've seen him described as a good blocker in the run game. Now, maybe not, but I'd rather it described as a strength than a weakness.
 

Super Nomario

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Great write up SN. My understanding is that Hogan was highly regarded for his blocking so perhaps the year 1 expectations should be a Hogan replacement with a much higher ceiling. This offense is likely to continue to become more balanced if not a run heavy team, adding a 220 lb blocking WR can only help.
Yeah, I see this pick as part of a continuing commitment to bully ball. The rest of the league wants to go lighter and faster? That's great, our 250-pound LBs will maul the crap out of your receivers at the line, and good luck tackling our new 228-pound WR with linebackers who weigh about the same. If they add 6'4", 211-pound CB Joejuan Williams tonight, as rumored, it will be more along these lines.
 

Eck'sSneakyCheese

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Sounds to me like a small TE. He can block well and is a monster after the catch. Nowhere near comparing him to Gronk but those are 2 things we were going to miss with him gone and they possibly replaced some of that.

Edit: Watching the videos again he looks a lot like Patterson but he can actually catch the ball.
 
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Dernells Casket n Flagon

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Really struggles versus press; does not have the quicks to win the desired shoulder at the line of scrimmage and does not use his hand.
What skill or ability is needed to be good against the press? It seems to me like a WR who is great at blocking, which Harry supposedly is would have no problem against a press, but that clearly doesn't seem to be the case based on any scouting reports I've read.
 

Morgan's Magic Snowplow

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I think he’s got a high floor given what the Patriots value and need at the position. He’s unlikely to be much worse than Hogan as an X receiver working the boundary against a lot of man coverage, he can replicate some of Patterson’s value with bubble screens and other YAC plays, he seems to be a very good blocker, and he can return punts. That might not be what you hope for in the first round but it’s still a very useful player who fills a variety of team needs.

And obviously he stands a real chance of being more than that. But who really knows at this point.
 

EL Jeffe

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Here was my scouting report for Harry for the Locked on Patriots Slack channel:
Great job, SN. This aligns pretty closely with how I viewed him as well. I thought the Oregon corner (decent player, will get drafted this weekend) in particular really gave Harry fits in press coverage. My red flags were a lack of a 2nd gear and struggles getting off the line of scrimmage. I think he'll get better over time with his releases, but the play speed is something you have or don't have. He really reminded me of 2018 Josh Gordon in terms of size, physicality, play speed and separation. That's not a bad thing by any means, but I think his play speed limits his ceiling somewhat. But like Gordon, there should be plenty of wow plays thanks to Harry's strength, vision and ball skills.
 

Mooch

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Great job, SN. This aligns pretty closely with how I viewed him as well. I thought the Oregon corner (decent player, will get drafted this weekend) in particular really gave Harry fits in press coverage.
And yet Harry still went for 7-105 in that game. Don't forget: Manny Wilkins is was pretty bad QB with major accuracy issues. The fact that Harry could be that productive with such an errant passer bodes well at the next level. I'm not wild about what I see from Harry off the line but that's coachable stuff. His game reminds of a more physical Malcolm Mitchell without the injury issues. I like the pick.
 

Super Nomario

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What skill or ability is needed to be good against the press? It seems to me like a WR who is great at blocking, which Harry supposedly is would have no problem against a press, but that clearly doesn't seem to be the case based on any scouting reports I've read.
There's more than one way to skin a cat. You can win with quickness, a sudden move at the line to win the release they want (usually outside, by sometimes inside). You can win with misdirection, feinting one way and cutting the other or doing a little hesitation and then going. You can win with hand-fighting, ripping the DB's hands away or swimming past the jam. The best at beating press (Metcalf, in this class) have multiple moves and techniques. Harry just kind of stuttered his feet at the line and didn't go anywhere.

Better long speed would help against press (can scare the DB into flipping hips early), but I don't see why, from a physical tools perspective, he could not learn to release against press better. But it disturbs me he doesn't have more from a technique standpoint at this stage of his career, and he has a long way to go. Some technique growth is fair to assume, but I thought Harry was kind of a mess.

It's worth noting some people, like Matt Waldman, saw more from Harry against press than I did.
 

Super Nomario

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And yet Harry still went for 7-105 in that game. Don't forget: Manny Wilkins is was pretty bad QB with major accuracy issues. The fact that Harry could be that productive with such an errant passer bodes well at the next level. I'm not wild about what I see from Harry off the line but that's coachable stuff. His game reminds of a more physical Malcolm Mitchell without the injury issues. I like the pick.
I don't see Mitchell at all. I thought Mitchell's best quality was his ability to separate, which isn't Harry's game. Meanwhile Harry much better at contested catches and run after the catch.

EDIT: giving this more thought, I think the best analogue among recent Patriots receivers is a cross between Brandon Lloyd and Aaron Hernandez. Lloyd's hands / crazy catch ability but Hernandez' ability after the catch. Maybe sprinkle in a little of Gronk's height and love of mixing things up physically.
 
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RedOctober3829

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I don't see Mitchell at all. I thought Mitchell's best quality was his ability to separate, which isn't Harry's game. Meanwhile Harry much better at contested catches and run after the catch.
I see a lower end Dez Bryant or Anquan Boldin with Harry which is very good IMO. This isn't a reach and rely on his potential like Aaron Dobson was. Harry should be able to step in and play.
 

dcmissle

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There's more than one way to skin a cat. You can win with quickness, a sudden move at the line to win the release they want (usually outside, by sometimes inside). You can win with misdirection, feinting one way and cutting the other or doing a little hesitation and then going. You can win with hand-fighting, ripping the DB's hands away or swimming past the jam. The best at beating press (Metcalf, in this class) have multiple moves and techniques. Harry just kind of stuttered his feet at the line and didn't go anywhere.

Better long speed would help against press (can scare the DB into flipping hips early), but I don't see why, from a physical tools perspective, he could not learn to release against press better. But it disturbs me he doesn't have more from a technique standpoint at this stage of his career, and he has a long way to go. Some technique growth is fair to assume, but I thought Harry was kind of a mess.

It's worth noting some people, like Matt Waldman, saw more from Harry against press than I did.
So some of this can be learned, good.

Your assessment as a red zone weapon?
 

Saints Rest

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Bedard on BSJ likened him to a cross between Cordarelle Patterson and Dez Bryant. All three are around 6'-2 and in the 218-228 range. Harry is the tallest and heaviest of the 3. Patterson the fastest (4.42 vs 4.53). Bryant has the biggest hands (9.75" vs 9.5").
Bedard felt like Patterson has more top-end speed than Harry, while Bryant was better at high-pointing balls.
He also expects Harry to return punts and/or kicks.
 

Mooch

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I don't see Mitchell at all. I thought Mitchell's best quality was his ability to separate, which isn't Harry's game. Meanwhile Harry much better at contested catches and run after the catch.
I watched Mitchell a ton at UGA. The knocks on him coming out of college were that he struggled with physical, press coverage corners, sometimes had trouble getting separation and had just average top-end speed. Just like Harry. Both guys excelled in the intermediate passing game and both were far above average in contested catch rate (Mitchell was above 60% his last year at Georgia.) Main differences are that Harry is physically bigger and more elusive in the open field.