N'Keal Harry has plenty of potential, and at the moment, it's up to Justin Allen to unlock it.
Allen is the younger brother of former New England Patriots tight end Dwayne Allen. He's also a professional trainer who owns All-En Sports Performance and counts wide receivers Kenny Stills, Deebo Samuel and Mecole Hardman among his clients.
According to The Athletic's Jeff Howe, Harry and Allen crossed paths at the 2019 NFL Scouting Combine after initially meeting in 2017. With team facilities still closed due to the coronavirus pandemic, Harry has been training with Allen in Houston this offseason.
Download the MyTeams app for the latest Patriots news and analysis
So, what is the 22-year-old wide receiver working on after appearing in just seven games during an injury-riddled rookie season?
"Everybody knows he has a God-given body,” Allen told Howe. “He’s a physical freak, and he is a hard worker, very competitive. We’ve been working on fundamentals.
"I’ve been taking him back to what you were doing when you were first playing the sport as a kid — just those little details, basic fundamentals of getting in and out of your breaks, staying low, eliminating steps in and out of breaks, loosening up his hips, teaching him how to use his hips, be more fluid and move faster than he does. We’re trying to get him to play a little bit faster so he can give a little different look next year."
Harry is a solid 6-foot-4, 225 pounds and ran a 4.53-second 40-yard dash at the 2019 Combine, but perhaps we'll see a slimmer and swifter version of the Arizona State product in 2020.
Of course, Harry's first goal in his second season will be staying on the field, and Allen believes improved body control can help him in that regard.
"Just teaching him how to control his body a little bit better, understanding his foot placement, where his foot should be,” Allen said. “A lot of people step outside their frame, not understanding the foot comes through the hip. So if the foot comes outside of your frame, your hip is driving the leg down to generate that force and that power. It’s going to cause you to reach and have you be a step slower than you should be.
"Just working on the little things with him, working on his steps, staying within his body frame."
Harry also has been working with notable NFL trainer/footwork specialist Rischad Whitfield, so he's clearly investing a lot of time in speed and footwork this offseason.
That's a smart game plan: If Harry is healthy, he should play a more featured role in New England's offense this season with Julian Edelman and Mohamed Sanu as the only returning wide receivers with more than a year of NFL experience.