ARIZONA STATE FOOTBALL

ASU’s N’Keal Harry on first-round bubble of 2019 NFL Draft

Jan 22, 2019, 5:00 PM | Updated: 8:40 pm
Arizona State wide receiver N'Keal Harry (1) made a ridiculous touchdown catch against UTSA two yea...
Arizona State wide receiver N'Keal Harry (1) made a ridiculous touchdown catch against UTSA two years ago. Can he repeat the feat Saturday night? (AP Photo/Darren Abate)
(AP Photo/Darren Abate)

Former Arizona State wide receiver N’Keal Harry is one of the best wide receivers in the upcoming 2019 NFL Draft, but where he ranks among his competition is split for some draft experts.

NFL.com’s Daniel Jeremiah released the first edition of his top 50 NFL Draft prospects on Tuesday and Harry barely cracked the list at No. 48.

Harry is a big, physical wideout with strong hands and run-after-the-catch talent. He isn’t sudden in his release, but he powers through press coverage and he’s adept at using his big frame to wall off defenders underneath and down the field. He wins a lot of 50/50 balls and has a special ability to adjust down the field (see: twirling catch vs. USC). After the catch, he has the strength to break tackles and is surprisingly elusive. He has punt-return value despite lacking elite top speed. Overall, Harry isn’t a burner, but his size/physicality and ball skills will make him a fantastic option on third down and inside the red zone.

That’s a mid-second round grade on Harry and places him fourth among wideouts.

The receivers ranked ahead of Harry were Oklahoma’s Marquise Brown (ninth), Mississippi’s D.K. Metcalf (No. 11) and Georgia’s Riley Ridley at 32.

ESPN’s Mel Kiper shared the skepticism of Harry as the best in his class, also placing the junior fourth among wide receivers on his big board released on Jan. 17 and not having him in the first round of his mock draft.

Kiper had Brown, Ohio State’s Parris Campbell and Ole Miss’ A.J. Brown selected before Harry in the mock.

The NFL Combine is a big day for Harry, Kiper told 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station’s Bickley & Marotta on Jan. 17.

“I think the 40-time will determine a lot for N’Keal Harry,” Kiper said.

“He’s got a chance,” Kiper said of the first round. “He’s a borderline first-round pick. Right now I have him more as a second-rounder.”

Todd McShay of ESPN does have Harry as a first-round prospect, but by just a hair at No. 31 on his latest update from Jan. 15.

A big target with good body control, Harry will go and get it for you, as he consistently rewards his quarterback for throwing him 50-50 balls. Even at 6-foot-4, he is a threat after the catch and regularly runs right through contact. Not a flyer, he is still a dangerous deep threat. Additionally, he isn’t afraid to do the dirty work in the middle of the field, and he is a tough blocker. He was held under 60 yards receiving just twice this season while registering 1,088 yards and nine touchdowns (plus an additional rushing score).

The 6-foot-4, 213-pound wideout certainly has the size to compete on Sundays. Harry backed up the much-deserved hype of his freshman season with two big-time years for the Sun Devils. As a sophomore, he caught 82 balls for 1,142 yards and eight touchdowns. He backed those numbers up last season, racking up 73 receptions, 1,088 yards and nine touchdowns.

The NFL Combine begins on Feb. 26.

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