NAME: N’Keal Harry
SCHOOL: Arizona State
JERSEY: No. 1
RECRUITMENT RATING: 4-star
WT: 216 lbs
Route Running – Physical route runner who possesses a wonderful blend of athletic abilities to beat defenders to all levels. Shows arm over technique and effective short area quickness to defeat press coverage and play through contact and separate down the field.
Hands –Hand strength is terrific, will squeeze the football in traffic and pull in contested targets with consistency. Has the extension and catch radius to win in contested situations and possesses an impressive catch rate against tight coverage.
Contested Catch Ability –Is a tight coverage ace, will out-wrestle defenders for the football with size, strength and length. Times jumps well to ensure he’s reaching the football at optimal extension. Has the size to box out defenders on fades or back shoulder throws.
Run After Catch Ability –RAC monster courtesy of size and speed. Effective in using free arm to create additional space and maximize RAC opportunities. Contact balance vs. arm tackles is superb, runs through soft challenges and creates a lot of extra yards on his own after the catch.
Football IQ –Sideline and backline awareness is excellent. Has made the most of tight quarters receptions with length and foot placement. Willing to sell false breaks to defenders and establish a false step before breaking into open space against off coverage.
Vertical Receiving –Has enough long speed to get over the top of turn and run defenders. Is a handful if given a free release and also offers a challenge in press coverage thanks to effective release vs. press coverage. Shows great ball skills to read the football over his shoulder.
Change of Direction Skills –Flashes tremendous short area quickness for a player of his size, shows suddenness in short area to stop on a dime and break pursuit angles before getting back up the field. Fluid in short spaces to play with suddenness and establish separation.
Speed –Moves much better than one would expect from a player of this stature. Startling acceleration out of the catch point. Has enough speed to pull away from defenders in the open and will stack press coverage effectively.
Competitive Toughness –Plays hard. Admirable effort after the catch to stonewall tacklers and press up the field. Transitions into a blocker with effectiveness, plays ready with the hands to punch and establish a hand fit on defensive backs.
Blocking Ability –Frame is overwhelming for boundary corners to work around and challenge the ball. Has the length and punch to win control of defensive backs in the secondary. Moves feet well to mirror and slide against defenders to frame blocks.
BEST TRAIT – Hands
WORST TRAIT – Change of Direction Skills
BEST FILM – Oregon (2017)
WORST FILM – Washington (2018)
RED FLAGS – None
N’Keal Harry projects favorably as a prototypical X-receiver in the NFL. Harry’s size, contested catch ability and skills defeating press coverage combine to offer an impressive package of traits, especially when considering the versatility Harry brings to an offense as a RAC receiver, deep threat and as a red-zone target. Harry may require some time to further develop but he has dominant traits.
Separation Quickness – Overall explosiveness and burst are missing out of the break. Never going to be a consistent separator from press man coverage, but does show the ability to break hard and decisively after pushing vertical. One speed receiver without the ability to change gears in an instant, but I love that he makes his cuts at full speed without throttling down.
Ball Skills – Has the ability to make any catch with a massive radius and strong hands. Some of his best plays have come on unbelievable adjustments to the football. Concentration does seem to come and go some, will let a few slip through his hands that shouldn’t and doesn’t always high-point the football, instead opting for body catches at times. Clearly has the hands and tracking ability to make catches outside his frame, just needs to be more consistent. Tracks the ball over his shoulder beautifully.
Speed/Burst – Doesn’t get to top speed quickly, and even when he gets there, it isn’t much to write home about. I don’t know what he’ll test, but he doesn’t play fast. Vertical separation against man coverage just doesn’t happen. Not going to be a speed guy over the top, will be forced to rely on ball skills to make plays vertically against man coverage.
Route-Running – Doesn’t run a super expansive route tree, lots of hitches, comebacks and bubbles. Does run the occasional slant, dig and post pattern, but gets a lot of his touches in a manufactured fashion. Already mentioned the lack of elite athletic tools to be a top-notch separator, but also doesn’t drop his hips and explode back to the ball on those return routes. Upright route runner with some stiffness. Does a good job of getting out of his breaks without wasting steps, opening to the ball and making strong cuts.
Contested Catch – Totally exceptional in this area in flashes. Technically there are things you want to see improve at times, but the results are eye-popping. Has made several of the toughest contested grabs I’ve seen over the past few years. When the concentration is right, one-handed grabs and battling through defensive pass interference are non-issues. Box out ability with his back to the defense. In 2017 won vertically simply due to ability to make catches with a defender on him.
YAC – Oddly good in this area. Not explosive or overly elusive at all, but pulls out all the stops to shake off tacklers. Active on his feet, spinning and shifting through trash to pick up extra yards. Tank-like build is tough to stop when he gets going. Legs churn through arm tackles. Lack of burst does limit him, unable to juke out players and fly away from tacklers, so he’s typically surrounded quickly.
Releases – Needs to show more urgency off the line of scrimmage against off coverage, can be slow off the ball and doesn’t sell vertically with low pads. Can’t beat press corners off the ball with the burst that some of the other top receivers in the draft have. Has done a better job of varying up his releases this season, but not explosive enough to keep cornerbacks from recovering on him most of the time. Big and strong enough to be unaffected by jams when his technique is right. Didn’t face a lot of physically tough corners in the PAC.
Blocking – Has flashes of ferocious blocking ability and technique coupled with outstanding effort. Then there are spurts of play where he simply reaches outside his frame half-heartedly for blocks too. I think this will be a strength of his game in the NFL if he’s willing to get coached up a little bit.
Competitive Toughness – It’s tough to observe from afar, but he has some clear alligator arm instances on tape over the middle of the field. Effort does seem to wane at times, talk is out there that he doesn’t always practice hard. Still, moments of peak toughness on the field are clear alpha. Can Moss anyone and has some eye-popping moments as a blocker.
Athleticism/Size – Will have one of the best frames for a receiver in the entire NFL the moment he enters the league. Unbelievable build, muscle distribution, length and pro-ready strength. Athletically average on the ground, but does show good hops on tape. Combine is as big for him as any receiver in the draft. If he’s healthy and chooses not to run, strong indication to me that his time would have been in 4.6s at least.
BEST TRAIT – Contested Catch
WORST TRAIT – Speed/Burst
RED FLAGS – None
On the hoof, few prospects at any position in the entire class look better than Harry, who has packed on muscle and possesses the ideal size for a no. 1 wide receiver in the NFL. The instances where he utilizes that size and strength – to moss a corner at the catch point, to toss a defensive back as a blocker, to extend for a ball outside his frame despite tight coverage – are glorious and show the salivating traits that Harry could make a living on at the next level.
But his lack of speed, burst and overall athleticism are issues that need to be considered. He doesn’t always play like an alpha, and there is some limit to what he provides an offense due to his inability to create great separation from press man corners. NFL defensive backs will challenge him in very new ways, and Harry will have to consistently play hard and with better attention to detail than he always did in college. There is risk involved here, and limitations even at his peak, but if Harry can impress at the Combine, he’ll have a lot of teams looking to draft him amongst the top wide receivers in the 2019 class.
PROS: Unbelievable downfield threat. Jump ball ability already at elite levels. Attacks ball at its highest point regularly and has strong hands away from his frame; catch radius is large. Has a fantastic understanding of leverage and timing, regularly breaking on the ball at the last second and keeping his frame between catch point and defender to minimize opportunity for PBU. Maintenance of leverage from break point to ball’s arrival particular impresses: will gear down long before ball arrives to ensure leverage is maintained. Tracks very well and can pluck high-velocity throws at silly angles. Contact arriving with the ball and at the catch point does little to disrupt excellent levels of concentration and body control.
An absolute bear to tackle after the catch with grown man strength. Very bursty athlete who can eat up 5-10 yard splits in a hurry, which presents a problem for corners attempting to maintain downfield leverage. Long strider down the field. Understands spacing well as a route runner and uses deep threat to his advantage on intermediate breaks. Will aim for leveraged hip and generate throwing windows accordingly. Can snap in and out of his break with good body control. When hands get involved in release moves/clearing contact, they’re swift and powerful. Has good physicality as a blocker but could learn to sustain better. Usage as a wildcat runner with ASU has developed good RAC vision and instincts.
CONS: Uninspired in release moves. Infrequently recruits hands to keep his chest plate clean, leading to unnecessary hiccups in his route stem. Will take wide angles to avoid contact of squatting CB, relying on burst to win the angle, and thereby get worked off the red line when taking downfield paths, closing the throwing window. Relies too heavily on hesitation/slow play releases when, in reality, he’s not overly quick and struggles to generate instant separation. On short-breaking routes, does not use his hands within the contact window to generate separation; will fail to work entire body into break, thereby not presenting full target to the quarterback. Guilty of trapping balls against his chest when working across the middle. Also guilty of running routes at 80%, though read structure of offense could have influence here.