A long-time subject of trade rumors this offseason, ASU’s N’Keal Harry has finally been traded by the New England Patriots.
Beginning early in the offseason, and even before, speculation has swirled around the former first-round pick out of ASU. Those trade rumors finally came true on Tuesday when the Patriots dealt the fourth-year player to the Chicago Bears.
The terms of the deal:
Back in 2019, Harry was taken by the Patriots with the 25th pick in the first round of the NFL Draft. Surprisingly, this was the highest a wide receiver has ever been drafted by long-time coach Bill Belichick.
He made the decision to target Harry after stellar back-to-back seasons at Arizona State. In his sophomore season, Harry went for 1,142 yards on 82 receptions and largely matched that his junior season with 1,088 yards on 73 receptions. Over his three years as a Sun Devil, he accounted for 22 touchdowns.
An offseason ankle injury during his rookie training camp kept Harry out of the first seven games of his NFL career and he never found the opportunity to jump back into the pool.
His best year as a pro was in 2020 when he had 33 receptions for 309 yards and two scores. However, in 2021, he began the season on IR yet again and ended the year with only 12 catches.
Four touchdowns, 598 yards. That is undoubtedly a rough start to his professional career.
Hopefully, this opportunity to start fresh with a new team in Chicago will be a big boost for Harry. He will have plenty of opportunities to carve out a role with the departure of key pieces like Allen Robinson II, Jakeem Grant, Damiere Byrd, and Marquise Goodwin.
The top of the WR depth chart currently has dependable, but not big-name, players such as Darnell Mooney and Byron Pringle along with rookie Velus Jones Jr. (Tennessee). Harry will have to compete for the No. 3 or No. 4 spot with Equanimeous St. Brown, Tajae Sharp, and Dazz Newsome. That is a battle Harry is more than capable of winning.
Let’s wish luck to the pride of ASU, N’Keal Harry! Go get ’em and Forks Up!