This is the 10th in an ongoing series on 2019 NFL Draft prospects by Chris Reed. He will analyze possible 2019 NFL Draft picks and their fit for the Raiders. Today, we look at Arizona State wide receiver N’keal Harry.
Name: N’Keal Harry
Position: Wide Receiver
School: Arizona State
Good size and speed prospect, large catch radius, natural hand catcher, physical strength makes him tough to tackle, aggressive run blocker, exceptional YAC ability, high points deep passes, consistently wins 50/50 situations
Lacks great initial burst, did not show an extensive route tree, questionable top end speed, had some concentration drops
Why he Would Fit the Raiders
Harry is another in a line of big yet athletic receivers in this draft class. The Raiders have a glaring need to get quarterback Derek Carr an impact target and will undoubtedly select at least one of them. Harry is a 6-foot-4, 215-pound specimen that can win outside of the numbers – especially downfield. He put up 2,889 receiving yards and 22 touchdowns over his three seasons as a Sun Devil and would be the Raiders biggest receiving threat next season.
Harry doesn’t look like he has elite top end speed but he makes up for it by playing to his size. There are plenty of bigger bodied receivers who do not play as physically as expected, Harry is not one of them. The strength of his game is out positioning and high pointing deep passes. He will come down with a 50/50 ball more often than not. The Raiders haven’t had a true deep threat on their roster for a while.
Harry also is a real threat after the catch as well. He doesn’t have the biggest burst and he isn’t the shiftiest player, but his sheer strength makes him tough to bring down. His ability in the open field was highlighted as he averaged 16.9 returning nine punts for 152 yards and a touchdown last season. He would make an ideal target for their quick game and is well versed in the bubble screen. There is nothing better for a play caller than to have a target who can catch a pass at the line of scrimmage then carry defenders for five yards and a first down.
Why he Would Not Fit the Raiders
Head coach Jon Gruden made several references to increasing team speed last season. Harry is no slouch but he doesn’t appear to have elite top end speed either. While he can win contested catches, he isn’t going to take the top off of coverages. If Gruden and general manager Mike Mayock are adamant about adding sheer speed to the offense, Harry may not be what they have in mind.