Brock Huard’s 2019 NFL Draft preview: Arizona State WR N’Keal Harry
Each weekday at 8:30 a.m. leading up to the NFL Draft, 710 ESPN Seattle’s Brock Huard will profile a prospect he considers to be a first-round possibility for the Seahawks. His previews continued Friday with Arizona State wide receiver N’Keal Harry.
Listen to Huard’s full breakdown of Harry in the audio clip embedded below.
• Position: WR
• Height/weight: 6-2/228
• Class: Junior
• Hometown: Chandler, AZ
Scouting report: A First-Team Pac-12 All-Conference receiver, Harry left the Sun Devils as the program’s third all-time leader in career receptions (213) and receiving yards (2,889). In three years, Harry recorded 22 receiving touchdowns and three rushing touchdowns, and finished with 1,000-plus receiving yards in all but his freshman season. His final season with Arizona State saw highs in touchdowns (nine) and yards per reception (14.9). Harry also contributed on special teams with 152 return yards and one touchdown in 2018.
Brock’s take: “I think of any of the 10 guys or so we’re going to profile heading up to the draft, this is the prettiest (profile)… what has Pete Carroll always, always, always coveted for the three or four decades that he’s been around football? Big, athletic, game-changing wide receivers. And he went through a whole litany of them. The Seahawks paid Sidney Rice really good money early on. They brought Mike Williams on until he got to weigh in at about 270-pounds and he was too big. Chris Matthews got his shot. Coach Carroll has liked big wide receivers. David Moore, Jaron Brown last year, Amara Darboh was a third-round pick and sure looks pretty.
“Now this kid is a whole different level. He’s a little bit shorter than Brandon Marshall, who’s about 6-feet-5. He measures 6-2, listed at 6-3 at ASU, 228-pounds, he’s got no body fat. He’s got 33-inch arms. He jumped 39 inches at the combine and he ran 4.53. If you’re a Pac-12 football fan, you’ve watched the two-time All Pac-12 performer and you’ve seen some of those unbelievable physical attributes come out on the field.
“Run, play-action pass shots; that’s what this Seahawks group does. Don’t try to be everything to everybody. We run the football, we play-action pass off of it, often down the field, and we’ve got the best deep-thrower in the NFL. Now give him a guy that is the best deep-ball catcher in this draft…
“We’re not talking N’Keal Harry here at 21. A couple of the kids I’ve mentioned, I’m considering at 21. I’m not talking about N’Keal Harry at 21. I think that’d be a bit silly and a bit of a reach. But you trade down… all the sudden all five of those pass-rushers are off the board and you’re looking at a guy who’s cost-controlled for the next five years that can be Russell Wilson’s go-to guy. Want to make Russell happy? Pay him his money. And then get him a legitimate freak-show talent. The Julio Jones, the A.J. Green, the big, physical guys who on one-on-one situations can win.”
How he’d fit: The Seahawks were the only team in the league last year to pass on fewer than 50 percent of all plays (47.56%). Attribute that to their offensive philosophy, rather than through any fault of Russell Wilson, who set yet another record in passing touchdowns in 2018 (35). Seattle is a physical, run-first offense that was the only team to have three separate running backs finish with 100-or-more yards in a single game, and also saw its first 1,000-yard rusher since 2014. This came just one year after the Seahawks passed on almost 60 percent of plays and saw their worst rushing performance under Pete Carroll.
But despite last year’s success on the ground, the Seahawks likely want to see a bit more balance. Wide receiver Tyler Lockett had his best season yet, but Wilson’s favorite target – longtime No. 1 receiver Doug Baldwin – was hampered by injuries to both knees, groin, and his shoulder. Harry’s size and talent could not just add depth to the Seahawks receiver room, but potentially help balance out their offense.