FOXBORO - For New England Patriots fans, the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft straight up sucked.
With the 32nd selection that year, the defending Super Bowl champions selected wide receiver N'Keal Harry out of Arizona State University. Since then, Harry has gone on to put up a whopping total of 598 receiving yards and four receiving touchdowns in three seasons. In comparison, former Tennessee Titans and current Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver AJ Brown - taken 19 spots after Harry - took just 12 games as a rookie to surpass that number.
In a recent article, Pro Football Focus did a re-draft of the now-infamous 2019 NFL Draft.
Spoiler: Harry doesn't get redrafted in the first round.
This redraft has the Patriots selected then-Iowa Hawkeyes tight end Noah Fant.
Early in the draft process, Fant was being touted as a generational tight end prospect and potential top 10 selection. Over the course of the season, he was ultimately replaced as the top tight end on most boards by his teammate, fellow tight end TJ Hockenson.
In 2019, Fant ended up being drafted by the Denver Broncos with the No. 20 pick.
In his three seasons with the Broncos, Fant has accumulated a total of 1905 receiving yards and 10 receiving touchdowns across his 47 games. For a young tight end who splits time as a blocker as well, these are solid numbers. Notably, his numbers have slightly improved each year.
In Josh McDaniels' offensive system, Fant's athleticism would have made him a phenomenal fit in New England. With his ability to run seam routes, move the chains, and generate mismatches against larger personnel, Fant would have provided the much needed answer at tight end the team needed after Rob Gronkowski's retirement.
Regardless, it's fun to imagine scenarios in which Harry does not end up donning the Flying Elvis logo on his helmet. While the past can't be changed, Patriots fans will hope that the team's recent drafts selections end up panning out better.