Many rookies crumble under the pressure that comes with playing in the NFL, but Herm Edwards is confident New England Patriots wide receiver N'Keal Harry won't have that problem.
Harry spent most of the season on injured reserve and returned to practice Oct. 15. He could make his Patriots debut in Sunday's Week 11 matchup against the Philadelphia Eagles. Lincoln Financial Field is not an easy place for opponents to play, especially with thousands of raucous Eagles fans creating plenty of noise.
Still, Edwards, who coached Harry at Arizona State, doesn't think the stage will be an issue for the 21-year-old wideout.
“He’s got great football instincts,” Edwards said Tuesday on WEEI's "The Greg Hill Show".
“And the thing I think (Tom Brady) and the guys know about him is, if you get him in 1-on-1 situations, you can throw the ball to him and trust that he can come down with it. (Harry is) very competitive for the football. And the game’s not too big for him. The lights won’t be too big for N'Keal when he goes on the field. That won't be a problem. It's just a matter of how they're going to use him.”
Harry made plenty of contested catches in traffic during his Sun Devils career, and his ability to win these matchups helped make him a first-round talent. The Patriots like his skill set enough to make him the first wide receiver head coach Bill Belichick has ever drafted in Round 1 during his 20-year tenure in New England.
The Patriots won't need Harry to be elite right away, but he does need to make some sort of meaningful impact. Veteran receivers Julian Edelman and Mohamed Sanu are dependable, but after them, the talent on the depth chart drops quite a bit. Phillip Dorsett has shown flashes impressive play, but he's been inconsistent. The Patriots still don't have a tight end who's a real threat in the passing attack, either.
One more weapon for Patriots quarterback Tom Brady would be a huge help, and if Harry can be reliable on third downs and 1-on-1 matchups on the sidelines, New England's passing offense should be much tougher to defend than it has been through the first 10 weeks of the season.
Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Celtics easily on your device.