N’Keal Harry’s experience in a New England Patriots uniform appears to be coming to a close.
As first reported by Mike Garofalo of NFL Network, Harry’s agent Jamal Tooson, has issued a formal request that the talented, but enigmatic wide receiver be traded from New England.
Harry joined the Patriots as the 32nd overall selection in the 2019 NFL draft. He was the first wide receiver selected by New England in the first round since 2000. Despite the high expectations surrounding his arrival in the league, Harry has had little impact over his first two seasons. Hampered by injuries during his first two years with the Pats, he has appeared in only 22 of a possible 32 games, including one postseason contest.
As such, Harry has been the subject of much scorn from the New England fanbase, as well as trade rumors throughout the offseason. He finished 2020 catching 33 passes on 55 targets for 309 yards and two touchdowns. Harry suffered a concussion in a Week Seven matchup with the San Francisco 49ers, which caused him to miss the next two weeks. While that may help to explain some of his lack of production, Harry has yet to look truly comfortable in the Patriots offense. There are times where he made some brilliant catches, flashing some of the skill that likely made him a first-round target for the Patriots in 2019. More often than not, however, he has been a minimal factor in the Pats offense. Both Jakobi Meyers and Damiere Byrd finished 2020 higher on the depth chart than Harry.
Still, Harry’s collegiate pedigree should not be lost in the sea of negative press as he leaves New England. In 2018, his final season with Arizona State, Harry totaled 73 receptions for 1,088 yards and nine touchdowns. He was a big-bodied receiver that was expected to be what the doctor ordered for the New England receiving corps, at the time.
When healthy, the 6’4″, 213 pound wideout offers a unique combination of size and strength. He can be a big red zone threat with underrated quickness, which allows him to make athletic and contested catches when needed. Harry was also very versatile in the Sun Devils’ special teams. He spent time as Arizona State’s punt returner, which also drew interest from the Pats.
Moving forward, N’Keal Harry appears certain to continue his football journey elsewhere. Should he indeed be traded before the 2021 season, he will have finished his Patriots tenure with 47 catches for 435 yards and four touchdowns.