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Former ASU WR N’Keal Harry picked by Patriots in 1st round of NFL Draft

Arizona State's N'Keal Harry (1) makes a touchdown catch as he beats San Diego State's Ron Smith (17) during the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Sept. 9, 2017, in Tempe, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

Former Arizona State Sun Devils wide receiver N’Keal Harry was selected No. 32 overall by the New England Patriots in the 2019 NFL Draft.

Harry, who went to Chandler High School, spent the last three years at ASU before declaring for the 2019 NFL Draft. In his three seasons as a Sun Devil, the 21-year-old posted 213 receptions and 2,889 receiving yards (both third in ASU history) to go along with 22 touchdowns in 37 games. Most of those numbers came in his sophomore and junior seasons which warranted his two First-team All-Pac-12 selections.

On Wednesday, the 2018 AP Preseason All-American told Burns & Gambo on 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station that “there’s no way I fall past (pick number) 33,” where the Arizona Cardinals sat at the top of the second round.

Harry’s 2017 sophomore season was his best statistically, as he had 82 reception for 1,142 yards and 8 touchdowns. He followed up his sophomore year with 73 receptions for 1,088 yards and nine touchdowns, leaving him with a per game average of 6.2 receptions for 89.2 yards and .68 touchdowns in his final two seasons in a Sun Devil uniform.

Harry was one of the more coveted wide receivers coming into this year’s draft. Former GM Michael Lombardi said on his podcast of potential first-round pick in Ole Miss receiver D.J. Metcalf: “If you take (Metcalf) before N’Keal Harry, you are an idiot.”

Both ESPN’s Mel Kiper and Todd McShay had Harry going in the second round and ranked as the second-best wide receiver behind former Oklahoma Sooner Marquise Brown.

The 6-foot-2, 228-pound receiver has the hands and ability to catch the ball in traffic but also has run-after-the-catch ability. Colin Cowherd described Harry’s diving, one-handed grab this past season against USC as “the best catch at ANY level of football I’ve ever seen. Seriously.”

“N’Keal is a big man who can do a lot of different things for you,” Cardinals GM Steve Keim said of the local product who worked out privately for the team last week. “One thing that excites me about him is his ability to run after the catch. For a big, long athlete, he’s got unique skills after the catch, as well as tracking and adjusting to the football down the field.”

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