The pressure is on N'Keal Harry to become a quality receiver at the NFL level.
After becoming the first receiver ever drafted in the first round by Bill Belichick, Harry entered New England Patriots training camp with lofty expectations. The team doesn't have a lot at the receiver position, and they may be relying on the young, big-bodied rookie finding some early success to help keep their passing game afloat.
Luckily, Harry is getting some excellent help as a rookie. So far during training camp, Harry has been working with former Patriots wide receiver, Troy Brown, among others to help improve his ability. But Harry is trying to learn as much as he can from the former Patriots star.
“He’s one of the greatest receivers who’s ever played here," Harry said of the opportunity to work with Brown, per NESN's Zack Cox. "I can take a lot from him. I’m going to keep asking him questions and keep learning from him every day."
Harry would be wise to do just that. Brown was an eighth-round pick by the Patriots in 1993 and went on to have a terrific career, logging 557 catches, 6,366 receiving yards, and 31 touchdowns during a 14-year career while also standing out as a return man.
Despite being undersized and underrated, Brown was able to find a fit in Bill Belichick's system by refining his route running and getting to know every detail of the offense. Harry is much larger than Brown, but if Brown can help him improve in the two areas in which Brown excelled, Harry could become productive quickly at the NFL level.
Of course, Brown's presence isn't the only one that is helping Harry. Getting to work with one of the greatest quarterbacks in NFL history is going to have an impact on him as well.
"It’s a big help having (Tom Brady) out there helping me make it through training camp and just helping me clean up my details and make sure we’re on the same page," Harry said, per Cox. "… Just a lot of technique stuff, a lot of timing stuff. Things that are going to come the more that we’re on the field together."
As Harry mentioned, he is going to have to make sure he and Brady are on the same page, so Harry should look to spend as much time working with Brady as possible. If they develop chemistry, that could allow Harry to see the field early in his NFL career.
The expectations for Harry may be high, but it seems that he is ready to work hard to live up to them. And learning from a couple of all-time Patriots greats like Brown and Brady certainly will help him ahead of his rookie season.
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