The Chicago Bears have traded a 2024 seventh-round draft pick to the New England Patriots in exchange for wide receiver N’Keal Harry.
Harry and New England were headed for a separation ahead of training camp. General manager Ryan Poles pulled the trigger with a low-risk, high-reward trade for Harry. The Bears get a new weapon for Justin Fields and Harry gets a much-talked-about fresh start.
Here are five things to know about the newest member of the Bears, N’Keal Harry.
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Harry, 24, is one year younger than third-round rookie wideout Velus Jones Jr., who turned 25 in May. Yes, you read that right.
Jones had an extra year of eligibility added on to his college career due to COVID-19. He wasn’t looked at as a sure-fire draft choice in the 2021 NFL draft, so he waited one more year before declaring and elevated his draft stock.
Given his youth and three years of NFL experience, Harry should bring some excitement to Bears fans. He’s in need of a fresh start. He will get that chance in Chicago. At just 24, there’s a lot of room for growth.
AP Photo/Zach Bolinger
Harry was drafted 32nd overall by the Patriots in the 2019 NFL draft. He was looked at as one of the top wide receivers in that year’s draft and was deemed a perfect fit for New England’s system.
Despite it being the right pick in the eyes of Bill Belichick, things did not turn out that way. Harry didn’t play until Week 11, as he was nursing an ankle injury suffered in preseason. He only managed 12 receptions for 105 yards and two touchdowns in seven games.
In three years, Harry has only played in 33 games, where he totaled 57 receptions for 598 receiving yards and four touchdowns. He’s played with the likes of Tom Brady, Cam Newton, Brian Hoyer, and Mac Jones. Now, he’s on to Justin Fields.
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Harry spent his college career at Arizona State. He was a four-star recruit, ranked as the best wide receiver coming out of the state of Arizona. In both 2017 and 2018, he earned All-Pac-12 first-team honors.
In college, Harry played in a total of 37 games. He had 213 receptions for 2,889 receiving yards and 22 receiving touchdowns. On the ground, he had 23 rushing attempts for 144 yards and three rushing touchdowns.
AP Photo/Aaron Doster
In high school, Harry was quite the athlete. He played football, basketball, and also ran track and field.
Not only was Harry good enough to make the NFL, but he was also good enough to play in the NBA – well, at least that’s what his former AAU basketball coach T.J Howard believed. In his varsity career, Harry averaged 21.4 points per game, 10.5 rebounds, 2.3 assists per game. 1.2 steals per game, and 0.9 blocks per game.
For track and field, Harry ran the 100-meter, 200-meter, and 4x 100-meter. It took him 11.44 seconds to run the 100-meter, 23.07 seconds to run the 200-meter, and 42.43 seconds to run the 4×100-meter.
AP Photo/Zach Bolinger
Listed at 6-foot-4, Harry is now the second tallest wide receiver on the Bears roster. The only receiver taller than him is Equanimeous St. Brown, who stands 6-foot-5. Harry will add much-needed height, as top targets Darnell Mooney, Bryon Pringle, and Velus Jones Jr are all at or below 6-foot-1.
With his height, Harry will have more of an advantage in catching 50-50 throws. Something he found success in was making catches over defenders by using his size advantage. With a fresh start in Chicago, he will have a chance to find new success with his old ways.
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