Can N’Keal Harry take big jump from Year 1 to Year 2?

WEEI
May 27, 2020 - 12:52 pm
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N’Keal Harry will be one of the most interesting players to watch in 2020.

As a rookie last year, he missed the first half of the year due to being on injured reserve with a hamstring injury suffered over the summer and then couldn’t really catch up once he returned to the field.

Harry finished with 12 receptions for 105 yards and two touchdowns.

After a tough season, it appears he’s doing what he can to change things come Year 2 by working very hard this offseason, including spending time with a foot technique specialist that will help him with his foot speed.

So, will Harry take a big jump from Year 1 to Year 2? Allow the Off Day podcast guys to debate and you can vote yourself at the end of the post.

YES

It’s clear Harry is putting in the work this offseason and Bill Belichick always speaks to the jump players make from Year 1 to Year 2. The Patriots and Josh McDaniels now have a better idea of what Harry does best and they can design plays that put him in a better position to succeed. It’s also worth wondering how much having Tom Brady as his quarterback last year affected Harry. Brady is so demanding that maybe Harry was thinking too much instead of just playing. With Jarrett Stidham now at QB, maybe Harry plays freer and that opens him up to make more plays. We have a good feeling Harry is going to be much better this coming season and maybe even be the player many thought the Patriots were getting when they selected him in the first round last season.

— Ryan Hannable

NO

Call me cynical. Call me a Harry-hater if you want. But definitely call me dubious of the idea that Harry is suddenly going to have this grand Year 2 Jump that somehow benefits from the departure of GOAT QB Tom Brady. I still very much have doubts about Harry’s ability to stay healthy, the consistency of his hands and his route-running. There is no question he looks the part of an impact outside receiver. Based on social media and reports from his trainer, it seems like he’s working hard this offseason. That certainly can’t hurt his future. But until Harry shows the ability to consistently run precise routes, get open and catch the football as a reliable option in the Patriots passing attack I’m going to refrain from jumping on his personal bandwagon. I said a year ago that I thought that there was a chance that Jakobi Meyers has a better overall NFL career than Harry and I still think that’s a possibility. Unfortunately, I think there is a chance that Harry never finds the necessary consistency, ending up as a freak athletic specimen and occasional playmaker in the mold of Cordarrelle Patterson. There’s nothing wrong with that, but it’s certainly not what the Patriots were hoping for when they invested a first-round pick in Harry a year ago. Maybe I’m wrong. Hopefully I’m wrong. We’ll see!

-- Andy Hart

Related: Tom Brady's 9 lessons learned from 'The Match' include not wearing same pants golfing as he does to church