Tom Brady and the New England Patriots might not be the only ones who benefit from N’Keal Harry in the upcoming NFL season.
For the first time in the Bill Belichick era, the Patriots invested a first-round pick on a wide receiver when they drafted Harry at No. 32 overall. Aside from addressing a pressing need, the Harry selection effectively indicates New England believes the Arizona State product can be an impact player from the get-go.
ESPN NFL analyst and fantasy football expert Mike Clay certainly believes Harry will be a productive asset in Foxboro. In fact, Clay thinks Harry will be the second-best fantasy football wideout among rookies.
“There was some knocks on him about his separation ability, his speed. But he’s big, he’s tough, he’s gonna be an asset near the goal line and he has an opportunity in this Tom Brady- and Bill Belichick-led offense,” Clay said Monday during ESPN’s “The Fantasy Show.” “They’re really shaky at the wide receiver position and some guy named Rob Gronkowski — you may have heard of him — he retired. So, big opportunity for Harry. He could be an every-down player as soon as Week 1, so I like him a lot.”
Clay’s co-host, Matthew Berry, took the projection a step further.
“Especially when you think about Demaryius Thomas — who they signed — possibly starts the season injured coming off that serious injury. Six-foot-2, 228 (pounds), you mention the size. Think about Demaryius Thomas and N’Keal Harry, what are they looking for? They’re looking for size,” Barry said. “We’ll see what you get out of Austin Seferian-Jenkins here. But N’Keal Harry, who by the way, is the only Power-Five player — I love this stat — to have at least 70 catches and eight receiving touchdowns in each of the past two seasons. So, certainly productive for Arizona State. Harry has probably the biggest combination of talent and opportunity on offense of all the rookies coming in.”
As Clay touched on, there’s some work to be done in refining Harry’s game. But under the direction of Brady, Belichick and Josh McDaniels, it might not be long until the 21-year-old becomes a legitimate game-changer at the pro level.