Former New England Patriots first-round pick N’Keal Harry has officially requested a trade, according to a statement released through his agent on Tuesday, per NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo.
It’s pretty clear that Harry doesn’t feel as though he’s gotten a fair enough share of opportunities since entering the NFL out of Arizona State as the 32nd overall pick in 2019.
An ankle injury slowed Harry down during his rookie campaign, and let’s be honest, picking up the Patriots’ complex system under the scrutiny of Tom Brady is no easy task. That said, Harry hasn’t lived up to the hype, whatever the circumstances in Foxborough have been.
A change of scenery can often be just what a player needs to get his career back on track. However, it doesn’t reflect well on Harry that his teammate, Jakobi Meyers, signed with New England as an undrafted free agent in 2019 and has proven to be a far superior player to date.
Meyers’ 85 receptions across the past two seasons outnumber Harry’s total of 81 targets — which is actually five fewer than his agent asserted he’s gotten.
With Bill Belichick signing Nelson Agholor and Kendrick Bourne in free agency, it sure looks like Harry’s days in Foxborough are numbered. Taking all that into account, let’s look at some ideal N’Keal Harry landing spots.
Unfortunately for new Falcons head coach Arthur Smith, he couldn’t bring Derrick Henry with him from Tennessee. However, the former Titans offensive coordinator will definitely look to run the ball more to take the pressure off longtime Atlanta QB Matt Ryan.
Why establish all this? Again, since Henry isn’t in a Falcons uniform, establishing the run will be easier said than done. What we do know is Smith had great success with bigger-bodied receivers in Tennessee with the likes of A.J. Brown and Corey Davis. He knows how to maximize players with those types of skill sets.
The 6-foot-4, 225-pound Harry isn’t lacking for talent, ball skills or sheer size and strength. The Falcons ranked 26th in red zone touchdown percentage last season, and badly need to improve in that area.