The Patriots offense will be going through quite the transition without Tom Brady at the helm this season. The offense features a group of young unproven weapons, starting with quarterback Jarrett Stidham. The player with the highest ceiling appears to be 2019 first-round pick N’Keal Harry.
N’Keal Harry Heading Into 2020
At 6’2″ 228 lbs. Harry is a big, physical threat on the outside. He ran a 4.53 40-yard dash at the combine to go along with 27 bench reps. Last year Harry was placed on the Injured Reserve for an ankle injury after playing only one preseason game. He was reactivated at the start of November where he had to work his way into the offense.
Eventually N’Keal Harry was implemented into the offense, averaging 34 snaps a game from Week 11 on. McDaniels recognized Harry’s athleticism and versatility by having him line up all over the field and getting involved in both the pass and run game. In an offense that was constantly struggling, N’Keal Harry was able to make 12 receptions for 105 yards and two touchdowns. He also had five carries for 49 yards. That does not include the receiving touchdown that was incorrectly called on the field against the Chiefs.
This year N’Keal Harry will have a much larger role in the offense, barring injury. He showed the ability to excel in tight coverage which will make Stidham very comfortable throwing his way. Harry also forced seven missed tackles in only 17 total touches in the regular season. He can be used as a red-zone threat and make people miss on a screen. His skillset will be very useful for Josh McDaniels this season. He will have to battle Mohamed Sanu for second on the depth chart this season, though both players will get plenty of touches. I expect Harry to have roughly 700 receiving yards with the potential for double-digit touchdowns in his first full season.
Something to Note
N’Keal Harry has spent this offseason working with Rischad Whitfield, who is known as the “footwork king.” Whitfield works with some of the best receivers in football, including Odell Beckham Jr. and DeAndre Hopkins. Last season Harry struggled to get off the line, and Whitfield has been working with Harry to improve his ability to beat press coverage.