Patriots

Tony Dungy offers theory behind Patriots' unorthodox N'Keal Harry pick

Tony Dungy offers theory behind Patriots' unorthodox N'Keal Harry pick

The only predictable thing about the New England Patriots at the NFL Draft is their unpredictability.

The 2019 draft brought another surprise twist, as New England snagged N'Keal Harry at No. 32 overall to make the Arizona State product their first wide receiver taken in the first round since Terry Glenn in 1996.

So, what prompted Bill Belichick to do something he's never done before? NBC NFL analyst and former head coach Tony Dungy joined this week's edition of the Michael Holley Podcast to offer his theory.

"I think that speaks a little bit to the game, the way it's going," Dungy told Holley of the Patriots' decision to draft Harry. "Receivers can make such a difference now. The rules are tailored to the passing game.

"I think you see Bill Belichick saying, 'Tom Brady's coming down -- we don't know when the end is gonna be, but I'm not gonna have Tom forever. So, let me make sure I get some weapons for him, and let's get somebody who can stretch the field and make some things happen in the passing game.' "

The Patriots also drafted a skill player in the first round last year (running back Sony Michel), so it does appear Belichick is placing a higher premium on early-round offensive talent in the draft as Brady enters his age-42 season.

"I think you're seeing a little bit of a shift in, 'Let's make sure we've got Tom enough to work with," Dungy added.

Check out Dungy's full conversation with Holley below; the Harry discussion comes at the 13:58 mark.

LISTEN & SUBSCRIBE HERE:

 

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Devin McCourty avoids fine after personal foul penalty for hit against Dolphins

Devin McCourty avoids fine after personal foul penalty for hit against Dolphins

Saturday is the day the NFL usually passes out fines for hits from the previous Sunday. Steelers linebacker Bud Dupree, for example, was hit with a $21,056 bill for his helmet-to-helmet shot to Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson, though he wasn't penalized on the play. 

Devin McCourty, however, can rest easy. As can his daughter London, 2, and son Brayden 1.

He wasn't fined for his hit on Dolphins receiver Allen Hurns, though he did draw a personal foul flag for lowering the head to initiate contact. 

Initially, the veteran Patriots safety wasn't happy with the call, but then said he told the officials "it was actually a pretty good call once I saw the replay."

McCourty expressed concern a fine might be coming last Sunday in his postgame press conference. "Hopefully the NFL doesn’t fine me. I don’t think it was fine-worthy. I’ve got too many kids for that,” he said with a smile.

McCourty has only drawn one fine in his career. In December 2010, he was fined $10,000 after a hit on a defenseless receiver, Packers tight end Andrew Quarless, drew an unnecessary roughness penalty.  

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Patriots promote FB Jakob Johnson off practice squad to replace injured James Develin vs Jets

Patriots promote FB Jakob Johnson off practice squad to replace injured James Develin vs Jets

The Patriots promoted fullback Jakob Johnson off their practice squad Saturday to replace the injured James Develin in Week 3 against the Jets. 

Develin missed all three of the Patriots' practices this week with a neck injury and was listed out on Friday. 

Johnson, an undrafted rookie out of the University of Tennessee and former German Football league player, will dress for his first game in the NFL. 

Johnson was originally recruited as a linebacker out of high school, but he made the transition to tight end while with the Volunteers. The Patriots turned him into a fullback, so the 24-year-old has shown a fair share of versatility over the course of his career. 

The Patriots usually find creative ways to utilize Develin in the passing game while sometimes giving him opportunities to punch in touchdowns on the goal line. There's a small chance Johnson gets that chance on Sunday, but who knows since the game will most likely be over by halftime. 

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