There’s plenty of buzz about wide receivers in this year’s NFL Draft, and N’Keal Harry of Arizona State is certainly creating some of his own.
D.K. Metcalf of Ole Miss has the ripped body and measurables that were the talk of the Combine. Marquise “Hollywood” Brown of Oklahoma has the speed to make defensive backs quiver.
But which wide receiver is the best fit for the Ravens? Some believe it’s Harry.
“N’Keal Harry going to the Baltimore Ravens is exactly what they need,” said Bucky Brooks of NFL Network. “You think about how the Baltimore Ravens want to play that read option, they basically need some guys that are willing to sacrifice their individual agendas for the team. I believe N’Keal Harry can be that Army-like receiver, meaning he’s going to go all in and do all the dirty work. He’s going to block on the perimeter.”
That description mirrored what Head Coach John Harbaugh said about receivers at the NFL League Meetings in March. Harbaugh says not every receiver fits the Ravens’ prototype.
“You’re not going to be a certain type of wide receiver and want to come play in Baltimore,” Harbaugh said. “We have not received phone calls from some guys. That’s OK. I don’t want to hear from those guys. We want rough guys, we want tough guys.”
Harry is certainly that. Measuring 6-foot-2 3/8, 228 pounds at the Combine, he has the size and the strength to be a downfield blocker in the Ravens’ running attack.
Nate Burleson of the NFL Network believes Harry may be the most complete receiver in the draft.
What scouts like most about Harry, however, is his ability to make contested catches. Balls don’t have to be perfectly thrown to Harry for him to make plays. He’s excellent as using his big body to ward off defenders, like a basketball player boxing out for a rebound.
He was an extremely productive receiver in college with 155 catches, 2,230 yards, and 20 touchdowns over the past two seasons. With his size and catch radius, Harry has the potential to be an immediate third down and red zone target for quarterback Lamar Jackson, and Harry also returned punts in college, making him a possible asset on special teams.
General Manager Eric DeCosta has talked about taking “some chances” to land a wide receiver. The Ravens have only drafted a wide receiver in the first round three times in their history.
Should the Ravens decide to draft a receiver early, they should have plenty to choose from even if they trade back from No. 22. Those who could be available at No. 22 or later include D.K. Metcalf and A.J. Brown of Ole Miss, Parris Campbell of Ohio State, Hakeem Butler of Iowa State, Riley Ridley of Georgia, and Deebo Samuel of South Carolina.
However, some scouts rank Harry near the top off the list, even though he’s not getting the most attention.
At the Combine, Harry said he believed he was the best wide receiver in the draft, and that he would prove it to the team he joins.
“I feel like I can do a bit of everything,” Harry said. “I can stretch the field, catch the deep ball. I can catch the screen and take it to the house. I can play special teams. I want to play for whoever gives me the chance.”