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New England Patriots expected to part ways with N’Keal Harry, 3 potential landing spots

Matt Johnson
New England Patriots, N'Keal Harry
Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

The New England Patriots selected N’Keal Harry with the 32nd pick in the 2019 NFL Draft hoping he’d become their next great receiver. Three years later, Harry likely won’t be on the 2022 Patriots roster.

Harry, a 6-foot-4 receiver drafted out of Arizona State, struggled out of the gate. He suffered an ankle injury in training camp and didn’t come off injured reserve until November. He played in just seven games as a rookie, totaling 105 yards with a 50% catch rate.

The Patriots set higher expectations for him in 2020, even amid a bad quarterback situation. While Harry started nine games, he only turned 57 targets into 309 receiving yards and two touchdowns. After two seasons, head coach Bill Belichick seemingly saw the writing on the wall and added Nelson Agholor and Kendrick Bourne to the Patriots’ receiving corps.

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Harry got one last chance, albeit with better competition, in 2021. The former first-round pick started only four games and drew only 22 targets across 521 pass attempts by quarterback Mac Jones. If Harry’s fate in New England wasn’t already sealed, the DeVante Parker trade confirmed an exit.

Patriots’ reporter Mike Reiss wrote that the Parker acquisition will push Harry out the door in New England. Whether it’s a trade or an outright release, it’s likely the end of the road for the former top pick.

  • N’Keal Harry stats (career): 57 receptions, 598 receiving yards in 33 games

Years removed from being a first-team All-Pac 12 selection (2017, 2018), Harry will now be looking for his second chance in the NFL. Carrying a $3.123 million cap hit for the upcoming season, with the fifth-year team option already declined, any return for the Patriots in a trade will be minimal.

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Here are three potential landing spots for N’Keal Harry.

  • Green Bay Packers: Green Bay’s depth chart at receiver right now is headlined by Allen Lazard, Randall Cobb and Amari Rodgers. Even when additions are made through the 2022 NFL Draft, a lot more depth is needed. Harry would get reps in training camp and the preseason, serving as a low-risk gamble for a front office that does a great job at finding bargains.
  • Atlanta Falcons: Speaking of teams desperate for pass-catchers, look to Atlanta. Damiere Byrd and KhaDarel Hodge are atop the Falcons’ depth chart at wide receiver. Harry would easily make this team and could carve out a role in the offense.
  • New Orleans Saints: Getting a healthy version of Michael Thomas is huge for the Saints. Outside of him, the receiving corps needs a lot of help. Harry would offer nice size at the position and makes for a compelling lottery ticket for an organization that needs cheap talent.