N'Keal Harry WR Arizona State Rd1 Pk32

tims4wins

PN23's replacement
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
26,327
Hingham, MA
Harry looked awesome early in the Detroit preseason game though. I know he only had like 2 or 3 catches but I remember thinking wow... and then he got hurt and his season went to shit
 

Super Nomario

Member
SoSH Member
Nov 5, 2000
13,154
Mansfield MA
I’ve had similar concerns about the TEs this year.
I do with Asiasi but not Keene. With Keene, they were willing to keep him on the 53 for two weeks inactive with injury without IRing him, but then finally they decided his injury wasn't responding / they needed the roster spot and they IR'd him. They brought him back right away after three weeks. Asiasi, on the other hand, went on IR with a mystery injury and stayed on past the point he could return, only coming off IR when Izzo got hurt. So I think the pattern with Keene is consistent with the guy being really hurt, and the pattern with Asiasi is a guy redshirting part of the year - disappointing since he looked pretty ready coming out.
 

Pandemonium67

Member
SoSH Member
Apr 17, 2003
4,881
Lesterland
If it turns out BB missed on his first round WR from last year and both 3rd round TEs this year, this rebuild will take longer than I'd hoped.
 

Over Guapo Grande

panty merchant
SoSH Member
Nov 29, 2005
2,143
Worcester
If it turns out BB missed on his first round WR from last year and both 3rd round TEs this year, this rebuild will take longer than I'd hoped.
I think it is way too early to say a miss on TE's. Smarter football minds than I have mentioned that TE is the hardest position to pick up as a rookie (having to learn both receiving and blocking concepts) . Add in an abbreviated preseason and a quarterback who is not exactly great at throwing catchable balls... I'm willing to give Asiasi and Keene a mulligan on this year.
 

Harry Hooper

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Jan 4, 2002
28,306
If it turns out BB missed on his first round WR from last year and both 3rd round TEs this year, this rebuild will take longer than I'd hoped.


From Breer's latest:

Harry perfectly illustrates Belichick’s scouting blind spot. Belichick’s close with Harry’s college coach, ex-Arizona State coach Todd Graham, and Harry crushed his in-house visit with the team in the spring of 2019, doing a better job with his turn in Foxboro than Deebo Samuel or A.J. Brown did with theirs. So despite warning signs from the scouts on Harry, the team wound up taking Harry in the first round.
...
This one isn’t that tough to diagnose, of course, and comes not just down to what Belichick values in players, but also in where he’s getting his information. Which makes it fair to question if he’s leaned too much on his college coaching friends and his personal experience with prospects, and too little on the work of his scouts.
...
“The first thing that jumps out is how different the tight end position is,” said an AFC personnel director. “It’s so obvious, but to go from not just Gronk, but also guys like Marty [Martellus Bennett], and that staple with Brady, he was so associated with tight ends going up the seam and in the red area, to overdrafted Asisasi and way-overdrafted Keene is jarring

Also, I can't find it right now, but Bedard recently had a comment about BB panicking as the TEs came off the draft board and over-drafting the 2 TEs. Bedard has mentioned several times the braintrust is less than thrilled with Asiasi, but he's playing out of sheer necessity.
 

kelpapa

Costanza's Hero
SoSH Member
Feb 15, 2010
3,716
From Breer's latest:




Also, I can't find it right now, but Bedard recently had a comment about BB panicking as the TEs came off the draft board and over-drafting the 2 TEs. Bedard has mentioned several times the braintrust is less than thrilled with Asiasi, but he's playing out of sheer necessity.
Yea, I'm sure belichick was panicking when tight ends were getting picked ahead of him. That passes the smell test.

Asiasi was the second tight end drafted. Keene was the 4th. The two tight ends picked before keene by other teams have combined for less than 250 yards receiving.
 

Cellar-Door

Member
SoSH Member
Aug 1, 2006
19,677
Yea, I'm sure belichick was panicking when tight ends were getting picked ahead of him. That passes the smell test.

Asiasi was the second tight end drafted. Keene was the 4th. The two tight ends picked before keene by other teams have combined for less than 250 yards receiving.
Yeah, Bellichick panicking doesn't pass the smell test. I thought he drafted both guys too high, but if he did it was a valuation error not panic. I mean, he had no QB and let every one in the draft pass by because he didn't see value, I really doubt he "panic" bought two TEs for fear of not having a backup TE.
 

BigSoxFan

Member
SoSH Member
May 31, 2007
37,859
Yeah, Bellichick panicking doesn't pass the smell test. I thought he drafted both guys too high, but if he did it was a valuation error not panic. I mean, he had no QB and let every one in the draft pass by because he didn't see value, I really doubt he "panic" bought two TEs for fear of not having a backup TE.
Yup. We’re talking about the guy who intentionally let the clock wind down in the Super Bowl while the Seahawks were at the 1 yard line. When has this guy ever panicked? You gotta love all these writers looking to criticize the guy when thinks just go wrong, for whatever reason.
 

DourDoerr

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Oct 15, 2004
2,278
Berkeley, CA
Yup. We’re talking about the guy who intentionally let the clock wind down in the Super Bowl while the Seahawks were at the 1 yard line. .
It's the ultimate illustration of BB's resolve. If 150 million were watching that game, 149, 999,999 were yelling for a TO with the only abstention unaware that we were in the 4Q and not the 3rd.
 

Super Nomario

Member
SoSH Member
Nov 5, 2000
13,154
Mansfield MA
Yeah, Bellichick panicking doesn't pass the smell test. I thought he drafted both guys too high, but if he did it was a valuation error not panic. I mean, he had no QB and let every one in the draft pass by because he didn't see value, I really doubt he "panic" bought two TEs for fear of not having a backup TE.
I wouldn't say "panic." I do think Keene was a tough guy to put a value on that they really liked, and once Josiah Deguara (who played a similar role in college) went, Belichick thought Keene could go at any time. Asiasi went about where I expected.
 

lexrageorge

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 31, 2007
11,658
And Keene may yet work out; he's been hurt a big part of the year. As has Asiasi, for that matter.

Harry was a mistake, but neither Bedard nor Breer have the inside knowledge to know that Belichick overruled his scouts because of a glowing review by Harry's college coach. And if Harry had the best workout in Foxborough, that's not exactly Belichick's fault.
 

Van Everyman

Member
SoSH Member
Apr 30, 2009
19,681
Newton
Harry has also had the bad luck of 1) being picked in Brady’s last year when (I think it’s now safe to say) he wasn’t really looking to form bonds with new guys in NE, 2) getting hurt for most of his first year, 3) having a pandemic cancel preseason and a ton of practice touches in year 2 and 4) having Cam Newton be the QB in his sophomore campaign.

Yes, he may never pan out but I think it’s fair to say he hasn’t exactly had the world handed to him on a silver platter either.

It’s one of the reasons I’m still really pulling for the guy.
 

radsoxfan

Member
SoSH Member
Aug 9, 2009
9,957
Harry has also had the bad luck of 1) being picked in Brady’s last year when (I think it’s now safe to say) he wasn’t really looking to form bonds with new guys in NE, 2) getting hurt for most of his first year, 3) having a pandemic cancel preseason and a ton of practice touches in year 2 and 4) having Cam Newton be the QB in his sophomore campaign.

Yes, he may never pan out but I think it’s fair to say he hasn’t exactly had the world handed to him on a silver platter either.

It’s one of the reasons I’m still really pulling for the guy.
I agree with all of that, and it definitely is a reason to keep the door ajar on his career going forward.

On the other side of the ledger... he is never, ever, ever, open. This seems to be problematic for a wide receiver.
 

rodderick

Member
SoSH Member
Apr 24, 2009
7,520
Belo Horizonte - Brazil
Harry has also had the bad luck of 1) being picked in Brady’s last year when (I think it’s now safe to say) he wasn’t really looking to form bonds with new guys in NE, 2) getting hurt for most of his first year, 3) having a pandemic cancel preseason and a ton of practice touches in year 2 and 4) having Cam Newton be the QB in his sophomore campaign.

Yes, he may never pan out but I think it’s fair to say he hasn’t exactly had the world handed to him on a silver platter either.

It’s one of the reasons I’m still really pulling for the guy.
All of these circumstances sans "2" apply to UDFA Jakobi Meyers and he has completely outperformed Harry. He is what he is.
 

Cellar-Door

Member
SoSH Member
Aug 1, 2006
19,677
I agree with all of that, and it definitely is a reason to keep the door ajar on his career going forward.

On the other side of the ledger... he is never, ever, ever, open. This seems to be problematic for a wide receiver.
I'm not sure about that. I think this year he's been "NFL open" a good amount especially given his size. It makes me think of something Kurt Warner (a surprisingly great color guy) said during the Dolphins/Raiders game. He was talking about the QB adjustment from college using Tua and himself as reference points. He said when he was in STL, he was lucky that he had guys like Faulk/Holt/Bruce, who had the speed to get college style open. Then he went to Arizona and Dennis Green was cussing him out for not making throws, and he said... "Boldin and Fitz aren't open" and Green explained to him... that's NFL open, for those guys, put it there and they'll get it.

Harry is never going to get Tyreek Hill seperation, but I think a lot of time this year he's been NFL open, where his size and body positioning mean you can put it where only he can get it. Now Cam and Stidham can't because they struggle to hit WIDE open guys (like Harry who was actually wide open twice this week and each QB threw it into the dirt well short of him), but I think he's NFL open quite a bit, and with a QB who has the accuracy to put it up high on the sidelines or lead him where he an shield with his body inside, he'd have had a good year.

Edit- This isn't perfect, but I think it is interesting. This is a fantasy/DFS/Gambling based stat group. They have Harry as getting about 64% of his targets as catchable, they also have him at a very high contested catch rate. That tells me, that he's getting a lot of garbage throws, and also that if he had a QB who threw him more highpoint balls he's winning them at a high rate.

And Harry isn't getting AWFUL separation... nfl has him getting the same average separation as Keenan Allen, Stefon Diggs and Calvin Ridley
 
Last edited:

radsoxfan

Member
SoSH Member
Aug 9, 2009
9,957
I don’t know where it was, but someone recently shared how much separation WR usually get, and Harry was towards the bottom. Not sure if it was all season or just recently.

I agree given his size he can be successful without major separation, but obviously if he's blanketed every play that's going to be a problem.
 
Last edited:

Cellar-Door

Member
SoSH Member
Aug 1, 2006
19,677
I don’t know where it was, but someone recently shared how much separation WR usually get, and Harry was towards the bottom. Not sure if it was all season or just recently.

I agree given his size he can be successful without major separation, but obviously if he's blanketed every play that's going to be a problem.
Yeah, I don't think he's even going to be a WR #1, but I think he's shown some of the attributes to be a good WR #2. If you can't double him and you have a QB willing and able to give him the ball high on the boundary he's going to beat up on a lot of number 2 corners. And he should be a red zone threat. Not exactly what you hope for in a 1st round pick, but a valuable piece.
 

twibnotes

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 16, 2005
18,218
Yeah, I don't think he's even going to be a WR #1, but I think he's shown some of the attributes to be a good WR #2. If you can't double him and you have a QB willing and able to give him the ball high on the boundary he's going to beat up on a lot of number 2 corners. And he should be a red zone threat. Not exactly what you hope for in a 1st round pick, but a valuable piece.
I think he’s got a better chance of being cut next year than being a valuable piece. He’s been in the league for two years and shown almost no above avg (or even avg) skills.
 

Harry Hooper

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Jan 4, 2002
28,306
Bedard's podcast at 29:00 gets into the drafting of the TEs and this season. A discussion of BB, Caserio, and scouting/drafting mechanics for the Pats starts at 34:00.


Apparently this was recorded before the SI piece was published.
 

Captaincoop

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 16, 2005
11,675
Santa Monica, CA
Yeah, I don't think he's even going to be a WR #1, but I think he's shown some of the attributes to be a good WR #2. If you can't double him and you have a QB willing and able to give him the ball high on the boundary he's going to beat up on a lot of number 2 corners. And he should be a red zone threat. Not exactly what you hope for in a 1st round pick, but a valuable piece.
When has he shown any attributes to indicate that he's a NFL contributor? He's got one foot out the door.
 

Cellar-Door

Member
SoSH Member
Aug 1, 2006
19,677
I think he’s got a better chance of being cut next year than being a valuable piece. He’s been in the league for two years and shown almost no above avg (or even avg) skills.
He's definitely significantly above average at contested catches, which is honestly one of the most important attributes for a big WR to stick in the league. Maybe he gets cut here, but I don't think he's out of the league anytime soon. He has size, good hands and he can high point the ball, he'll get chances.

It's amazing to me how quickly people are writing off a WR who is in his 2nd year, had injuries and played year 2 with basically no camp, and about as bad a QB situation as you can get. He missed the first 9 weeks as a rookie, then was working well down the depth chart as a rookie on a playoff team with a notoriously picky vet QB, his rookie year was honestly fine with that in mind, not every WR comes in and is NFL ready as a rookie, usually it takes a while to work their way in, which he didn't get because of the missed time.

This year has been a disappointment, but at the same time, it's been a QB apocalypse, even Edelman before he got shelved was having a pretty awful year. I look at Harry and see a guy who has some skills and some obvious flaws, but he's behind the development curve because of injury and team situation. I'd like to see what he does with a full pre-season and a solid QB.
 

twibnotes

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 16, 2005
18,218
He's definitely significantly above average at contested catches, which is honestly one of the most important attributes for a big WR to stick in the league. Maybe he gets cut here, but I don't think he's out of the league anytime soon. He has size, good hands and he can high point the ball, he'll get chances.

It's amazing to me how quickly people are writing off a WR who is in his 2nd year, had injuries and played year 2 with basically no camp, and about as bad a QB situation as you can get. He missed the first 9 weeks as a rookie, then was working well down the depth chart as a rookie on a playoff team with a notoriously picky vet QB, his rookie year was honestly fine with that in mind, not every WR comes in and is NFL ready as a rookie, usually it takes a while to work their way in, which he didn't get because of the missed time.

This year has been a disappointment, but at the same time, it's been a QB apocalypse, even Edelman before he got shelved was having a pretty awful year. I look at Harry and see a guy who has some skills and some obvious flaws, but he's behind the development curve because of injury and team situation. I'd like to see what he does with a full pre-season and a solid QB.
Giving him a longer leash may well be the right move. I agree the QB situation is a mess, and this team is a couple years (if we are lucky) from going deep in the playoffs anyway.

But, I don’t know how you can say he is “definitely significantly above average at contested catches.” No way. He has like 40 catches in his career, most of which were short, quick hitters. The jury is very much out on whether he is above average at ANYTHING.

There are plenty of big receivers in the league. Most of them seem to have more burst and better leaping ability than what N’Keal has shown thus far.
 

radsoxfan

Member
SoSH Member
Aug 9, 2009
9,957
This is simply not true.
You are right, he has been open before. Obviously I was being hyperbolic, but he has shown no ability to separate from defenders, poor route running, and below average speed.

I agree many things have been working against him so that leaves a glimmer of hope. But it's not looking good.
 

BaseballJones

goalpost mover
SoSH Member
Oct 1, 2015
11,541
Perhaps he just needs to play to his strengths, which are his size and strength. Overpower corners at the line. High point the ball. Outmuscle them for position. Run them over when he gets the ball.

There have been many receivers for whom that skill set worked pretty well.
 

mauf

Anderson Cooper × Mr. Rogers
Staff member
Dope
BB is a great football coach. Probably the greatest of all time. He is not a deity.

I don’t think there’s any inherent contradiction between recognizing BB’s greatness and also recognizing that he whiffed on N’Keal Harry — not just ex post (which is obvious at this point), but also ex ante. Believe it or not, the man occasionally makes a mistake, even in high-stakes situation. All that means is he’s mortal.
 

Cellar-Door

Member
SoSH Member
Aug 1, 2006
19,677
BB is a great football coach. Probably the greatest of all time. He is not a deity.

I don’t think there’s any inherent contradiction between recognizing BB’s greatness and also recognizing that he whiffed on N’Keal Harry — not just ex post (which is obvious at this point), but also ex ante. Believe it or not, the man occasionally makes a mistake, even in high-stakes situation. All that means is he’s mortal.
Is anyone arguing that Harry was a good pick?

I'm certainly not. I think he could become a solid #2 WR on the outside, but he's not a guy you should have used a 1st on, I think everyone agrees that the pick is at best going to be a bad value, at worst a wasted pick.
 

tims4wins

PN23's replacement
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
26,327
Hingham, MA
I'm not mad they picked Harry, I'm happy they took a shot at him. I'm mad they didn't pick another WR this year on top of Harry. They need to keep taking shots at WRs.