N’Keal Harry is one of ASU football’s best prospects in some time, and he might be a foolproof choice in this weekend’s NFL Draft.
To get a grasp of how special N’Keal Harry is, look no further than the word of his quarterback. After three years of throwing passes to Harry at Arizona State, Manny Wilkins isn’t afraid to admit the following:
“I’d be the first to tell you, I want to throw N’Keal the ball every single time,” Wilkins said. “That’s a guy that needs to get the ball in his hands as much as you possibly can.”
Soon, an NFL signal-caller may share that opinion. Harry enters this weekend’s draft as one of its top-rated wide receivers. For some, he is a “situation-proof” prospect, one that will provide an impact no matter the scenario.
At 6 feet 2 inches tall and 228 pounds, it’s easy to see why. Harry is built like a truck. He makes contested catches, creates yards after contact and is a nightmare for 1-on-1 match-ups.
Those advantages helped him become one of ASU’s greatest receivers. In three seasons, Harry finished third among the Sun Devils’ all-time leaders in receptions (213) and receiving yards (2,889) and was also ranked fifth in touchdowns (22).
A two-time All-Pac-12 First Team member, his talents promote a physical X-receiver in a modern NFL offense. Eventually, the team that selects him may start to think like Wilkins.
“Throw it up and give it a chance,” he says.
From day one, Harry will be one of the NFL’s strongest receivers. His body composition — much like Anquan Boldin and Dez Bryant — creates a physical advantage over contesting corners, allowing him to win plenty of airborne battles.
While critical for outside receivers, this talent allows Harry to be multi-faceted. He can make catches on the inside and from back-shoulder attempts. With disciplined footwork, Harry also has a great sense of operating in the open field.
Ultimately, his hand strength makes these qualities elite. Harry is a consistent, strong catcher, which negates concerns of drops and completing with his body. If you need proof, take a look at what might have been the best catch of the college football season.
Those traits make Harry a threat in the red zone, with deep balls and after the catch.
However, there are supplemented concerns. Harry has favorable size, but some scouts are worried it could slow him down. His large frame is also a hindrance for his ability to separate and release from the line of scrimmage. Because of his lack of acceleration, Harry might never be a receiver that can “burn” a corner on a consistent basis.
He will have to negate these concerns by implementing his football IQ and savviness. According to an anonymous wide receivers coach in the AFC, Harry has the tools to make up for it.
“All this talk about (his lack of) separation is overdone. In the league, nobody gets that much separation anyway. You have to know how to use your body and route leverage and you need strong hands. From what I’ve seen of him, he does all that stuff well.”
Despite these criticisms, Harry is more than deserving of being drafted in the first two days.
Harry participated at the NFL Scouting Combine earlier this month. Here are his measurables compared to other wide receiver prospects:
40-Yard Dash: 4.53 (T-21)
Bench Press: 27 reps (T-1)
Vertical Jump: 38.5 inches (T-7)
Broad Jump: 122.0 inches (T-16)
NFL Draft Projection
Bleacher Report (April 23): Round 1, Pick 22 to Baltimore Ravens
WalterFootball.com (April 23): Round 1, Pick 29 to Seattle Seahawks
Los Angeles Times (April 23): Round 1, Pick 21 to Seattle Seahawks
NBC Sports: Round 2, Pick 36 to San Francisco 49ers
NFL.com (April 23): Not selected in first round
CBS Sports (April 23): Not selected in first round
Yahoo Sports (April 21): Not selected in first round
All quotes in this article were obtained firsthand by Devils in Detail unless otherwise noted.