Michael Lombardi: ‘You’re an idiot’ to draft Metcalf over N’Keal Harry

Apr 25, 2019, 9:02 AM | Updated: 10:40 am
Arizona State wide receiver N'Keal Harry (1) tries to get away from Oregon State safety Jeffrey Man...
Arizona State wide receiver N'Keal Harry (1) tries to get away from Oregon State safety Jeffrey Manning Jr. (15) during the second half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Sept. 29, 2018, in Tempe, Ariz. (AP Photo/Matt York)
(AP Photo/Matt York)

After becoming one of the greatest wide receivers in ASU football history, N’Keal Harry is projected to be a late-first or early-second round pick.

Harry himself told Burns & Gambo on 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station he doesn’t think he will drop below No. 33, the Arizona Cardinals’ second round pick.

But one analyst has Harry ranked above even D.K. Metcalf, who’s widely regarded as the top receiver in the 2019 NFL Draft.

Michael Lombardi, a former NFL executive and NFL Network analyst, thinks Harry’s abilities to run a variety of routes makes him a superior prospect.

On his podcast The GM Shuffle, Lombardi called Metcalf a “three-route runner.”

“To me (N’Keal Harry is) a legitimate receiver. That guy can play anywhere on the field … and when the ball’s in his hands, he’s a beast,” Lombardi said. “He’s a freakin’ beast.”

Metcalf, on the other hand, ran 324 of 344 snaps from the left outside wide receiver spot, according to Pro Football Focus, and did not employ pre-snap motion.

“You’re gonna have to run some option routes, you’re gonna have to run some in-cuts, you’re gonna have to run some snags, you gotta run a tree to be a really good receiver,” Lombardi said. “If a defensive back knows you can only go one direction … Metcalf can’t run more than 3 routes, who’s going to beat him?”

But Metcalf astounded scouts at the NFL combine, running the 40-yard dash in 4.33 seconds and doing 27 reps of 225 pounds on the bench press.

Those numbers at his size — 6-foot-3, 228 pounds — makes Metcalf a tantalizing WR prospect. CBS and Todd McShay have projected him as a top-10 pick, while PFF ranks Metcalf as the top receiver with Harry at No. 2.

But Lombardi says Metcalf misses another check mark that Harry has: college production.

A neck injury cost Metcalf much last season with a neck injury. In seven games, he recorded 26 receptions for 569 yards and finished his career with 67 receptions, 1,228 yards and 14 touchdowns.

Harry, meanwhile, had 213 receptions and 2,889 receiving yards in his career, both of which are third-best in ASU history.

“I think you gotta look at production in college,” Lombardi said. “I don’t think you can take a receiver without production.”

Simply put, Lombardi thinks it’s “comedy” to put Metcalf over Harry on a draft board.

“You take Metcalf before him, you’re an idiot. You’re an idiot,” Lombardi said.

Other notes from Lombardi’s The GM Shuffle

– Lombardi doesn’t think the Cardinals will take Kyler Murray with the No. 1 pick in the draft.

“They hired (head coach) Kliff (Kingsbury) to fix Josh Rosen, not to draft Kyler Murray. At the end of the day, to me, that’s the main part of this whole thing. Because why would I have hired you if I gotta draft Murray? I should’ve just hired (Oklahoma head coach) Lincoln Riley.”

Adnan Virk, who does the podcast with Lombardi, chimed in: “You’re the quarterback whisperer so you figure it out,” in regards to Kingsbury teaching Rosen the ropes.

One final thought from Lombardi: “Do they really want to go ahead and trade away Rosen for no value at all?”

– Instead, he thinks they’ll take Alabama defensive tackle Quinnen Williams.

With all that said, Lombardi acknowledged “nobody’s giving out any information” so he’s not making any guarantees.

“Anybody who says they know for sure really doesn’t know,” he said.

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Michael Lombardi: ‘You’re an idiot’ to draft Metcalf over N’Keal Harry