NFL Reporter Floats Potential Patriot ‘Next To Go’ After N’Keal Harry Trade

Another homegrown talent could be on his way out


July 17

The Patriots’ 2019 draft class produced two very important members of New England’s roster: starting running back Damien Harris and 2020 first-team All-Pro punter Jake Bailey.

But outside of those two, the Patriots’ collection of draftees from three years ago largely yields disappointment.

The Foxboro Faithful recently was reminded of those draft woes when New England finally put an end to the N’Keal Harry experiment. Bill Belichick and company flipped Harry to the Chicago Bears in exchange for a 2024 seventh-round pick, a tough return on the first-round investment the Patriots made in Harry.

And if you ask ESPN’s Mike Reiss, the player who New England selected with its first pick after Harry could be on his way out in the near future, too.

“Last week?s trade/giveaway of 2019 first-round pick N’Keal Harry to the Chicago Bears for a 2024 seventh-round pick, which came months after dealing 2019 third-round pick Chase Winovich to the Cleveland Browns for linebacker Mack Wilson, means the Patriots have already moved on from two of their top three picks from ’19,” Reiss wrote in a column published Sunday.

“And few would be surprised if 2019 second-rounder Joejuan Williams, a defensive back from Vanderbilt, is the next to go. He projects as a long shot to make this year’s roster.”

The Patriots pretty clearly don’t have high hopes for Williams, as they made a concerted effort in the offseason to add new faces to their cornerback room. New England signed a pair of veterans — Malcolm Butler and Terrance Mitchell — in free agency and used two 2022 draft picks on corners (Jack Jones and Marcus Jones).

Given Harry’s lack of production, the Patriots probably were fortunate to bring in even a low-level asset for the 24-year-old. New England likely won’t have similar luck with Williams, who feels like a summer cut candidate.

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Thumbnail photo via David Kohl/USA TODAY Sports Images
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