2019’s wide receiver class features a strong collection of top-end talent. One of the biggest names around is N’Keal Harry, the wide receiver out of Arizona State. Harry was a consistent producer in his time as a Sun Devil, posting back to back 1,000+ yard seasons in 2017 and 2018 while totalling 20 touchdowns (17 receiving, 1 rushing, 1 passing, 1 return) in the same timeframe.
Harry is viewed by many as a polarizing player. He had substantial production lining up both out wide as well as in the slot. Some believe he has the ability to continue being productive at the NFL level, working outside the hashes. Others like Josh Norris and Evan Silva think differently, comparing him to New Orleans great Marques Colston—a plus-sized slot receiver who broke the mold in the late 2000’s—finding just as much success as the small, shifty slot receivers that had been making hay there in the preceding years. Lending credence to their notion is his innate ability to overpower defensive backs, again and again.
He’s looked like a man amongst boys, tossing corners and safeties aside for long gains; they can keep their ankles, Harry’s coming for the whole body. Additionally, many of his long gains on the outside came a la the Demaryius Thomas Method: bubble screens. A high-volume of his outside targets arrived a few yards behind the line of scrimmage. The ASU coaching staff just wanted to get the ball in his hands and let him do the rest. This worked well, but didn’t set him up for success in generating separation downfield against top-tier cornerbacks at the pro level.
The 6-foot-3, 225 pounder boasts solid physical attributes that strongly reflect his bruising style of play. It’s also worth noting, Harry isn’t a one-trick pony. His 20-yard short shuttle and 3-cone times are both respectable for a man of his size and translate well to decent route running, much more so than the outdated 40-yard dash measurement. The 40’s 10-yard split is far more important and in Harry’s case, leaves some to be desired. That being said, his specialty is high-pointing the ball, running over the middle. Using his massive frame and his 38.5” vertical, Harry routinely rips the ball out of the air and goes back to work on the ground. This, coupled with his ability to change direction and be physical at the line, allow him to get the job done.
Harry’s college stats
Best Fantasy Fits
- Indianapolis Colts (2nd pick of the 2nd round): The Colts receiving corps will be crowded in 2019. Stud No. 1 receiver T.Y. Hilton will take snaps all over the field, as will the ultra-sized Devin Funchess—brought in by GM Chris Ballard on a one-year deal. Tight Ends Jack Doyle and Eric Ebron will get their looks too, not to mention running back Nyheim Hines. However, with Funchess’ future currently unknown and the injury-bothered Jack Doyle’s contract expiring at the end of the year N’Keal Harry could be the Colts’ No. 2 wide receiver, come 2020.
- San Francisco 49ers (4th pick of the 2nd round): This one is simple. Head coach Kyle Shanahan loves talented wide receivers who can lockdown specific roles in his offense. With Pierre Garcon out the door, Dante Pettis figues to step into the No. 1 receiver role. Marquise Goodwin will keep doing his 100-yard dash impression, blazing past defensive backs. Which leaves room over the middle for N’Keal Harry to terrorize defenses between the hashes as they try to decide whether the better slot defender should man up on Harry or Pro Bowl/Second Team All-Pro tight end George Kittle.
- Buffalo Bills (8th pick of the 2nd round): A key aspect of quarterback development is pairing a young gunslinger with a core receiving group for him to develop and build chemistry with. The cannon-armed Josh Allen is known as much for his playmaking ability as he is for his overthrown passes. He’s already meshing well with burner Robert Foster (and likely will find success with the similarly built John Brown) but getting him a big-bodied safety valve in N’Keal Harry would pay dividends down the line.