Patriots

Mac Jones defends N'Keal Harry following dropped pass vs. Bills

Patriots

Sunday marked the 32nd game of N'Keal Harry's career for the New England Patriots, or roughly two full seasons worth of action.

It was another afternoon to forget for Harry, the 32nd overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, who finished with two catches for 15 yards and one hard to fathom drop in a 33-21 loss to the Buffalo Bills despite playing all but three offensive snaps for the Patriots.

But even after the drop, which came on a first and 10 for New England midway through the second quarter, quarterback Mac Jones continued to look Harry's way, including on the very next play -- when the ball was tipped by A.J. Klein and intercepted by Micah Hyde.

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Appearing on WEEI's Merloni & Fauria on Monday afternoon, Jones explained his thought process with continuing to go in Harry's direction.

"That type of stuff happens," Jones said. "He ran a great route and dropped it; it happens in sports. N'Keal has been working hard. He has to continue to work hard... I don't think it's an effort issue."

In 11 games in 2021, Harry has 12 catches for 184 yards and no touchdowns. For his career, he's at 57 catches for 598 yards and four touchdowns -- numbers which pale in comparison to numerous players selected after Harry, not to mention his undrafted teammate, Jakobi Meyers, who has 156 catches for 1,811 yards in 44 career games.

 

When the Patriots are at full strength, Harry is the team's fourth option at receiver after Meyers, Kendrick Bourne and Nelson Agholor. Sunday could have been a chance for Harry to impress, with Agholor out and neither of New England's tight ends, Hunter Henry or Jonnu Smith, making an impact, but it'll go down as yet another disappointing game log for the former Arizona State Sun Devil.