Patriots had N'Keal Harry 'graded a lot higher' than where he was taken

Jacob Camenker
NBC Sports Boston

Patriots had N'Keal Harry 'graded a lot higher' than where he was taken originally appeared on nbcsportsboston.com

In the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft, the New England Patriots selected Arizona State wide receiver N'Keal Harry. The selection of Harry marked the first time in Bill Belichick's 19-year tenure with the Patriots that the team had selected a wide receiver in the first round.

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Evidently, Belichick and the Patriots thought highly of Harry as a prospect. In fact, one of Harry's former college coaches, Todd Graham spoke to Belichick after the pick and relayed that the Patriots were, indeed, high on Harry.

"When I talked to coach Belichick the night that he drafted N'Keal," said Graham, per Jeff Howe of The Athletic, "[Belichick] told me, ‘Man, we were so fortunate that he was still there.' They were so glad he was still available. They had him graded a lot higher than where he was taken in the first round."

It's easy to see what the Patriots like about Harry. He is an intense competitor who is adept at making contested catches and was able to consistently break tackles in college. He could add a big (6-2, 228 pounds), physical receiving element to the New England offense and help to offset the loss of the recently retired Rob Gronkowski. 

Harry had back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons at Arizona State and totaled 18 touchdowns the past two seasons. We'll soon find out if he can bring his physical, playmaking skill set to the NFL. But it's clear that Belichick believes he will be able to do that.

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