N’Keal Harry is learning the hard way in his first NFL minicamp.
Harry, the 32nd overall pick in the 2019 draft, has been tasked with going up against Stephon Gilmore in New England Patriots spring practices. Gilmore, a First-Team All-Pro in 2018, unsurprisingly has stymied the 21-year-old, but the star cornerback seems to be impressed by what he’s seen from the rookie wide receiver.
“He’s a big guy,” Gilmore said, per The Athletic’s Jeff Howe. “I pressed him one time and tried to get my hands on him, and he threw them down. He’s really strong. He’s just got to keep working. He’s got great coaches and great players around him. It’s not easy for any of us. But if he keeps working, he’ll be in the right place when it’s time.”
Gilmore also has taken notice of their similar demeanors, and he sees great potential in the Arizona State product.
“He’s kind of quiet, and I’m kind of quiet,” Gilmore said. “He’s a good dude. I’m just trying to focus on my technique. If I see something, I’ll tell him. Other than that, I feel like he’s got the right coaches to help him become a great player.
“As of now, he’s strong. Even when he catches the ball — we haven’t been tackling yet — I’m sure he’ll be hard to tackle. I’m looking forward to competing against him every day.”
Gilmore continued: “He keeps competing. He’s mad if he drops a pass. He’s mad when he messes up. When you see stuff like that, he shows you he really cares that he wants to be a great player.”
The two-time Pro Bowl selection is as good as they come at cornerback, which only will help Harry as he tries to live up to high expectations.