Whether it’s a rookie wide receiver or a high-priced offseason signing, every NFL team needs an X-Factor to step up to the plate.
New England Patriots – N’Keal Harry
The discussion around the New England Patriots passing attack will focus on the tight end position following Rob Gronkowski’s retirement, and potential late-bloomer Austin Seferian-Jenkins couldn’t even stick around on the roster. New England has Benjamin Watson ready to return after a four-game suspension, but it doesn’t look like they’ll find an impact player at the tight end position. They even attempted to trade for Michael Roberts from the Detroit Lions.
That said, the Patriots don’t have to find that missing production from a tight end. Instead, they can look to rookie wide receiver N’Keal Harry to step up to the plate. At 6’4″, 213 pounds, Harry is a matchup nightmare just waiting to make a name for himself in New England. Whether it’s Julian Edelman, Larry Fitzgerald, or Herm Edwards, important figures in football have already been singing the first-round pick’s praises.
A sharp route-runner with elite strength, Harry’s safe hands and bullying work after the catch could make him a go-to guy in the Patriots offense. Tom Brady can come to rely on Harry, who will line up all over the Patriots formation. This versatility is critical, because Harry could be a huge weapon both in the red zone and as a “big slot” receiver. Want a way to somewhat replace what Gronkowski brought to the table? Look no further than Harry’s strength at the catch point and after the catch.