2019 NFL Draft

James White on Damien Harris: 'He’s a good football player'

James White on Damien Harris: 'He’s a good football player'

The New England Patriots added to their running back room with the 87th pick in the 2019 NFL Draft by selecting Alabama back Damien Harris. And Patriots running back James White liked the pick.

White was complimentary of Harris' skill set and recently indicated that he was excited for the Patriots' additions at the running back position, and Harris in particular.

"I’ve seen (Harris) play — he’s a good football player,” said White to reporters on Thursday at Gilette Stadium. “Alabama’s a great program and they pump those guys out of there each and every year.

“It’ll be good to get him in here, and (undrafted free agent Nick) Brossette, get those guys and help them learn as much as possible and see what they can do to help us.’’

Harris has been widely praised as a pickup since the Patriots drafted him. Recently, NFL Network's Nate Burleson called Harris one of the biggest steals of the draft and on the Quick Slants Podcast, Harris was compared to Dallas Cowboys star Ezekiel Elliott.

However, despite White's praise for Harris, he doesn't plan on relinquishing his role as one of the backfield leaders any time soon. Recently, White told fantasy football owners to bet on him and implied that he would still play a big role in the Patriots' backfield as a whole. Considering that White had a team-leading 87 catches last year and the next-highest total for a running back was 14 (Rex Burkhead), it would make sense for him to serve as the team's top pass-catching back.

The Patriots have a lot of talent at running back, so it will certainly be a position to watch. But with Bill Belichick's penchant for using a back-by-committee approach, it seems likely that all of the players at the position will get a chance to prove themselves.

Curran's post-draft power rankings for the AFC>>>

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NFL Rookie of the Year odds: N'Keal Harry a dark horse candidate

NFL Rookie of the Year odds: N'Keal Harry a dark horse candidate

The N'Keal Harry hype train is gaining some steam.

The New England Patriots' first-round draft pick has received some positive early reviews, drawing comparisons to talented NFL wide receivers like Dez Bryant and Josh Gordon. With Tom Brady as his quarterback and playing time up for the taking, there's a chance Harry contributes right away.

As such, oddsmakers are giving the Arizona State product decent odds to win 2019 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year. According to Caesars, Harry is listed at +1000 (10/1) to win the award, fourth among all rookies behind Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray, Oakland Raiders running back Josh Jacobs and Washington Redskins quarterback Dwayne Haskins.

Murray is the prohibitive favorite: The No. 1 overall pick is expected be the Cardinals' starting QB after they traded Josh Rosen and at the very least should amass high stat totals. Same goes for Haskins in Washington and Jacobs in Oakland (if Marshawn Lynch stays retired).

History also is stacked against Harry as the first receiver New England has taken in the first round since Terry Glenn in 1996. Glenn is the only wideout in Patriots history to amass 1,000 receiving yards as a rookie, and no Patriots rookie receiver has topped 600 yards since then.

The 6-foot-2, 228-pound Harry will look to buck that trend as an outside-the-hashes threat with solid ball skills. Considering he has the best odds of any rookie receiver -- ahead of No. 56 pick Mecole Hardman and No. 25 pick Marquise Brown -- Vegas is confident those skills will translate in New England.

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N'Keal Harry's draft night call with Bill Belichick had a cringeworthy start

N'Keal Harry's draft night call with Bill Belichick had a cringeworthy start

It appears Bill Belichick's struggles with technology are contagious.

Belichick did something he's never done as New England Patriots head coach Thursday night when he selected wide receiver N'Keal Harry in the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft.

But when Belichick called Harry to deliver the good news, things hit an unexpected snag: Harry couldn't get cell reception.

So, with the greatest coach of all time on the line, the Arizona State product had to wander around his draft party searching for a signal.

Here's the hilarious scene (or incredibly nerve-wracking, if you're Harry), captured on NFL Films' "Hey Rookie" show:

Fortunately, Belichick didn't seem too agitated by the hang-up -- unlike that time he waged war with a tablet or lamented about his inability to change the clock in his car -- and stayed on the line to welcome Harry to the defending Super Bowl champs.

QUICK SLANTS PODCAST: NFL analyst Dane Brugler breaks down Patriots' picks

We've already seen the 21-year-old overcome with emotion after getting off the line with Belichick, and it appears relief was one of those emotions.

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