See what the experts had to say about the Patriots selecting Arizona State WR N'Keal Harry with the 32nd overall pick in the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft.
Round 1, Pick No. 32: N'Keal Harry, WR, Arizona State
Paul Perillo, Patriots.com
Ultimately Harry’s success will come down to how quickly he can acclimate to the Patriots offense, which is something that hasn’t always been easy for newcomers – young and old. But Harry unquestionably fills a huge need, possesses the size and athleticism to compete and the mere fact that Trader Bill felt him worthy of staying put at 32 makes it a pick to be excited about.
Mike Reiss, ESPN
Wide receiver was rated as the Patriots' No. 1 need, and Harry will be counted on to play a significant part in addressing that. Considering that he was just the second receiver taken in the draft, behind Oklahoma's Marquise Brown, it speaks to how highly New England viewed him among this year's crop of pass-catchers.
Chad Reuter, NFL.com
When Rob Gronkowski had to move outside in the playoffs this past season, it was pretty clear that New England needed a reliable big receiver to win downfield. Harry should meet that need quite well.
Pete Prisco, CBS Sports
I watched every one of his games and believe me it pains me to give this a 'C+,' but I just think there were better options. One thing when you look at the Patriots is they don't play fast outside, they needed to get faster. Maybe they expect Josh Gordon to come back at some point, but, for me I would have taken Parris Campbell or one of those guys, a faster, more athletic receiver. I don't love this pick.
Pro Football Focus
With the retirement of Rob Gronkowski and the uncertainty surrounding Josh Gordon, the Patriots needed to get stronger at the receiver position – and that’s what they’ve done here. A threat from the slot, the addition of Harry will give Tom Brady an added weapon in the passing game as the team looks to secure a seventh Super Bowl title.
Andy Benoit, MMQB
Harry often played inside at Arizona State, but he does not at all fit the profile of a Patriots slot receiver and will almost certainly take most of his snaps outside. He’s a big target who can win on 50/50 balls, be it downfield or especially on in-breaking routes. His most likely role will be that of an X-receiver, which, it’s worth noting, is where the suspended Josh Gordon plays. By picking Harry, the Patriots not only avoid having to depend on Gordon (anything the ex-Brown provides moving forward would just be bonus), they also fill a notable area of need.
Mike Tanier, Bleacher Report
Harry is a fine route-runner and nasty blocker who works the middle of the field well, catches the ball in tight spots, outmuscles his defender for contested grabs and finds ways to gain yards after contact. He could become Anquan Boldin if he finds the speed and quickness to match his technique and tenacity in the NFL.