2019 NFL Draft prospect N’Keal Harry is one of the best wide receivers in this year’s class and should be selected in the first round. The tape explains why.
At 6 foot 4 and 220 pounds, Arizona State’s N’Keal Harry is a prototypical X-receiver in the 2019 NFL Draft. From blocking on running plays to jump balls downfield, Harry uses his length and strength to bully defensive backs.
Because he is a ferocious attacker in the run game, he has some highlight-level blocks in his film. His quick feet allow him to square up defenders and once he gets his hands on them, he often buries them. Harry also helps in blocking down the field with great hustle and vision.
As a receiver, Harry dominates in the catch window. He catches away from his body and boxes out defenders. Because he has strong hands and attacks the ball no matter the location, Harry has a large catch radius and often nullifies excellent positioning by defenders.
One-handed, over the shoulder while being tackled or in a crowd of defenders, if you throw it, Harry has a chance to catch it. Because of his ability to win against tight coverage, he excels on deep routes and in the red zone.
If given space to run, Harry is fast enough to get away from some defenders. He is effective at gaining yards after catch for his size. He has fantastic field vision and excellent contact balance.
Arm tackles are often not an obstacle for Harry. It is not easy to bring him down in the open field without giving up some ground first. If a defense loses discipline, he can make plays like the 31-yard touchdown he had against UTSA.
Versatility is a surprising strength for Harry as he played a decent amount of snaps as a big slot, as well as outside. Because of his ability after the catch, Arizona State was able to use him in the screen game as both a blocker and receiver. He is a three-level player, meaning he can be effective running short, intermediate and deep routes.
Harry lacks explosion, and it shows up most often off the line of scrimmage and in route running.
On plays with off coverage, he can be slow to push down the field to attack the defender’s toes. Against press coverage, he sometimes takes too many steps to try to trick a defender and doesn’t make any progress. Even when he does beat a press, his lack of burst and acceleration allows quicker cornerbacks to catch up. His top-end speed will not be near the top for receivers in the NFL Combine.
You often see defenders stuck in Harry’s hip pocket in man coverage. As he does against press coverage at times, Harry can take too many choppy steps at the top of his route. He doesn’t sink his hips well to lower his center of gravity and load up for an explosion out of his breaks.
Arizona State’s coaching staff manufactured a lot of Harry’s production. He was the recipient of hitch and screen passes to get him easily involved and in space. Scouts will question whether Harry can get open when running an array of routes in the NFL.
Harry is a prototypical X-receiver with some dominant traits. He is fantastic in contested catch situations, gaining yards after the catch and making incredible grabs under challenging conditions. Harry has some Larry Fitzgerald to him. He will make an immediate impact for a team in the red zone and as a big-play threat.
Harry is not perfect, but with proper coaching and hard work, he could develop into a high-caliber receiver in the National Football League.