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#pounditMonday, November 29, 2021

Articles tagged: N’Keal Harry

5 NFL players who are running out of time to prove themselves

Daniel Jones

For most players, the NFL stands for “Not For Long.” After all, perhaps more than any other professional sport in the world, the NFL is all about recent performance. Fortunes change quickly; today’s superstar could be tomorrow’s has-been. In some cases, talented players even become the “never was.”

Every year we see quality players simply run out of time. Sometimes it’s due to injury, other times it’s due to circumstance, but it’s always a possibility.

With that in mind, here is a look at five NFL players who are running out of time to prove themselves.

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Draft bust N’Keal Harry publicly requests trade from Patriots

N’Keal Harry is the latest in a long line of wide receivers who have struggled in the NFL after being drafted by the New England Patriots. Clearly, the former Arizona State star believes that is the team’s fault, not his.

Harry’s agent, Jamal Tooson, said in a statement on Tuesday that he has informed the Patriots his client wants a trade. Tooson pointed to the fact that Harry has drawn just 86 total targets in two seasons in New England since he was drafted 32nd overall in 2019. The agent said Harry “understands a key ingredient to production is opportunity.”

Here’s the full statement:

The Patriots signed two starting-caliber wide receivers this offseason in Nelson Agholor and Kendrick Bourne. They are almost certainly open to trading Harry, but they probably have not received an offer that they deem worthy.

Harry, who flashed serious playmaking ability at Arizona State, has 45 catches for 414 yards and just four touchdowns in two seasons with the Patriots. He has missed a total of 11 games.

Harry’s trainer previously pointed the finger at Cam Newton for Harry’s struggles last season. Now we have his agent blaming the Patriots for not giving Harry enough opportunities. It will be interesting to see if the 23-year-old can salvage his career elsewhere.

Did Bill Belichick bomb on key 2019 draft pick after ignoring Patriots scouts?

Bill Belichick

The New England Patriots have not performed all that well in the draft in recent years, which is one of the main reasons they had to spend so much money in free agency this offseason. One position Bill Belichick never seems to hit on is wide receiver, and that may be a result of his reluctance to listen to the team’s scouting department.

In his latest Monday Morning Quarterback column, Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer said Belichick is taking a different approach with the draft this year. Breer said Belichick has previously left team personnel “feeling like they were actively cut out where other teams’ people weren’t.” One example of that came in 2019, when the Patriots used the 32nd overall pick on wide receiver N’Keal Harry.

According to Breer, some Patriots scouts felt Deebo Samuel and A.J. Brown — both of whom were taken in the second round — were better prospects than Harry. Some of Belichick’s personnel people believed there were red flags with Harry, but Harry was impressive in his visit to New England and Belichick is friends with his Arizona State coach, Todd Graham.

In two seasons with the Patriots, Harry has 45 catches for 414 yards and just four touchdowns. He has missed a total of 11 games. Samuel has also battled injuries, but he’s been much more involved with the San Francisco 49ers than Harry has with New England. A.J. Brown is a star for the Tennessee Titans and one of the best receivers in football.

Perhaps that mistake and others have humbled Belichick a bit. Breer says Belichick is treating the 2021 draft as a “more collaborative effort” than years past. Patriots owner Robert Kraft recently described the team’s free agent spending spree as a “team effort on the part of our personnel department.” That may not have been a coincidence.

We all know the Patriots have their eye on one veteran quarterback, but it will be interesting to see if they are aggressive in addressing the position in the draft. If they are, that may be a sign that Belichick is giving his personnel department a stronger voice.

H/T Boston.com

N’Keal Harry reportedly drawing trade interest from this team

N’Keal Harry had a disappointing first two seasons with the New England Patriots, but there are apparently several teams who still believe in the young wide receiver’s potential. Washington is reportedly one of those teams.

ESPN’s John Keim reported on Wednesday that Washington is keeping tabs on Harry. As Keim notes, Washington general manager Martin Mayhew was with the San Francisco 49ers when they had interest in Harry prior to the 2019 NFL Draft. The Football Team has been looking to add offensive weapons this offseason, so taking a chance on Harry would make sense depending on the price.

At least three other teams are interested in Harry, according to Keim.

Harry was taken with the 32nd overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft. He’s a big receiver who flashed some serious play-making ability at Arizona State, but that has not translated to the NFL. He also has struggled to stay healthy.

In two seasons with the Patriots, Harry has 45 catches for 414 yards and just four touchdowns. He has missed a total of 11 games.

Harry’s trainer seemed to blame Cam Newton for the receiver’s struggles last season, and perhaps there are teams that feel that was the biggest factor in the 23-year-old’s struggles. Whatever the case, the Patriots would almost certainly be happy to unload Harry at a reasonable price.

Report: Patriots WR N’Keal Harry drawing trade interest

N’Keal Harry has been the definition of a draft bust since the New England Patriots selected him in the first round two years ago, but apparently there are teams that still believe the wide receiver has potential.

Teams have reached out to the Patriots to inquire about trading for Harry, Mike Garafolo of NFL Network reports.

That will come as a shock to most Patriots fans, and it’s possible even Bill Belichick is surprised.

Harry was taken with the 32nd overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft. He’s a big receiver who flashed some serious play-making ability at Arizona State, but that has not translated to the NFL. He also has struggled to stay healthy.

In two seasons with the Patriots, Harry has 45 catches for 414 yards and just four touchdowns. He has missed a total of 11 games.

Harry’s trainer seemed to blame Cam Newton for the receiver’s struggles last season, and perhaps there are teams that feel that was the biggest factor in the 23-year-old’s struggles. Whatever the case, the Patriots would almost certainly be happy to unload Harry at a reasonable price.

Patriots WR’s trainer throws Cam Newton under the bus

Cam Newton

Bill Belichick has steadfastly refused to make a quarterback change for the New England Patriots this season. That appears to be rather frustrating for one wide receiver’s personal trainer.

N’Keal Harry has fallen behind Damiere Byrd, Jakobi Meyers, and Julian Edelman in the team’s pecking order, having caught just five passes on nine targets over the past three weeks. Harry’s trainer, Rischad Whitfield, thinks Harry’s struggles are partly the fault of Cam Newton.

“We’ve got a new quarterback. We’ve got to put some of that (expletive) on Cam,” Whitfield told Harry McKenna of Patriots Wire on Tuesday. “Cam hasn’t been the most accurate this year. Like if (Harry) had Tom Brady, Tom Brady would’ve fed him. But we’re back there with Cam and Cam’s getting acclimated to the offense, too.

“It’s a big deal coming from Tom Brady to Cam Newton. … That’s one of Cam Newton’s biggest issues is mechanics.”

Harry, a former first-round pick, has failed to consistently produce for the Patriots. That’s despite Newton working with him and publicly supporting him. If the two aren’t clicking on the field, it certainly doesn’t seem to be for a lack of effort.

One thing is for sure: this isn’t likely to go down well with Bill Belichick. We’ve heard before that he doesn’t always take kindly to the outside influence of personal trainers around the organization, after all.

Cam Newton is the Patriots’ quarterback! Treat yourself or a friend with this great Cam Newton Patriots shirt. You can buy it here.

5 biggest disappointments of NFL Week 6

Aaron Rodgers

Week 6 saw one winless team get a much-needed victory, while things got even worse for another. It also saw some memorable performances, especially by quarterbacks, though some were for the right reasons, and some very much not. The good news is the drama led to some fun games.

With good games come great disappointments, and here are five from Week 6.

Aaron Rodgers, QB, Packers

In the battle of future Hall of Fame quarterbacks, Tom Brady was excellent, while Rodgers played one of his worst-ever games. After jumping out to a 10-0 lead, the Packers tallied just 57 total yards on their next 41 plays. Rodgers was consistently harassed by Tampa Bay defenders. He threw interceptions on back-to-back drives, the first one being just the third pick-six of his career. The game got so lopsided that Rodgers was taken out of the game in the 4th quarter to get him off his feet. It’s too bad this quarterback matchup didn’t live up to the billing, but Rodgers was just awful. At least he had a fun celebration.

Minnesota Vikings

The Atlanta Falcons have been criticized all season, blown a number of late leads, and fired head coach Dan Quinn after another debacle last week. If the Vikings were going to get a win, this was a perfect opportunity. Instead, it was the Vikings who were left reeling. The Falcons stormed out to a 33-7 lead, Kirk Cousins threw three interceptions, and Minnesota looked about as far away from contention as they possibly could. The fact that this came against a winless team makes the performance even more alarming. At this point, it’s worth asking how safe Mike Zimmer’s job is.

N’Keal Harry, Patriots

The Patriots’ sluggish offense continues to underwhelm; they were held to just 288 total yards by the Denver Broncos. Still, thanks to some errors by the Denver offense, the Patriots were in the game at the end. Trailing by 6 on a do-or-die 4th-and-10, quarterback Cam Newton sought out Harry, who had only been targeted once in the game to that point. Analysis shows that Harry ran the wrong route on the final play, and the pass fell incomplete. That’s a bad look for someone who’s supposed to be a major part of the offense but didn’t even make a catch on Sunday.

Baker Mayfield, QB, Browns

Mayfield probably shouldn’t have played Sunday, though one can understand his desire to. It was a divisional rivalry against the unbeaten Steelers, and the Browns wanted to prove they were for real. Mayfield just wasn’t up to it. He threw two interceptions and tallied just 118 yards before being benched for his own good in the third quarter as he battled a rib injury. Mayfield will have better days, especially once he’s healthy, but his effort to gut it out did the Browns no favors.

Houston Texans’ defense

The firing of Bill O’Brien appears to have finally opened up the Houston Texans’ offense. Now they just need to sort out the other side of the ball. The Titans posted 601 yards in an overtime win, with Houston’s defense having a full-on meltdown late. A Tennessee offense not known for being prolific stomped all over Houston on a game-tying drive that ended with A.J. Brown’s tying touchdown catch with seconds left. In overtime, Derrick Henry was involved in four of the Titans’ six plays on a game-winning touchdown drive. The Texans had no answer. Their offense looked to have won them the game, but the defense just wasn’t good enough.

Video: Cam Newton works out with new Patriots teammate N’Keal Harry

Cam Newton

Cam Newton is already getting a head start on preparing for the 2020 NFL season with his new team.

Newton officially signed with the New England Patriots, according to Wednesday’s NFL transaction wire. The same day, he also worked out with new teammate N’Keal Harry. The workout took place at Drake Stadium on the UCLA campus. Boston.com shared the video:

Newton will be competing with Jarrett Stidham, Brian Hoyer, Brian Lewerke and J’Mar Smith for playing time at quarterback. Harry, who had 12 catches for 105 yards and two touchdowns in seven games last season, was the team’s first-round pick in 2019. He is expected to be one of New England’s top receivers, along with Mohamed Sanu and Julian Edelman.

Newton signed a 1-year deal with the Patriots for the veteran minimum, plus possible incentives. Here are the details of his incentives structure.

Tom Brady seems excited about Patriots drafting WR in first round

Tom Brady

Tom Brady has grown accustomed to the New England Patriots trading back in the NFL Draft or using their early picks on defensive players, but they strayed from their usual approach a bit when they drafted a wide receiver in the first round on Thursday night. As you might expect, the 41-year-old quarterback seems excited over his team’s decision.

With the No. 32 overall pick in the draft, the Patriots selected former Arizona State star N’Keal Harry. On Friday, Brady welcomed his latest weapon and said he expects “big things” from him.

The Patriots have not had much luck drafting wide receivers during the Bill Belichick era, and part of that has to do with them choosing not to use early picks at the position. With Brady getting older and not really having a reliable player to throw to outside of Julian Edelman now that Rob Gronkowski has retired, perhaps Belichick finally felt it was time to get his MVP quarterback a shiny new toy.

Harry is a big, physical receiver who caught 73 passes for 1,088 yards and nine touchdowns last year at Arizona State. He hauled in 82 passes for 1,142 yards and eight touchdowns the year before, and we have seen him make some mind-boggling catches look easy. Brady has every right to be pleased about the Patriots’ newest addition.

Watch: ASU WR N’Keal Harry makes spectacular catch

NKeal Harry catch

Arizona State wide receiver N’Keal Harry made a spectacular catch during the fourth quarter of Saturday’s game against USC.

Harry, who already had a touchdown catch and punt return for a touchdown in the game, made the sweet grab in the fourth quarter. He stretched out with one arm to grab the ball as he was hitting the ground. Take a look:

That grab gave the Sun Devils a first down and put them in USC territory midway through the fourth quarter. They were unable to put points on the board and ended up punting on the drive.

Harry entered the game with 42 catches for 572 yards and five touchdown catches. Here’s his punt return for a score in the third quarter: