The Wizard of Oz is a fantastic movie. It takes the audience through a journey of a girl who wants to return home to her family. During the trip, she encounters the munchkins celebrating the death of the wicked witch of the west. The singing and dancing became so infectious that even I got up and did a bit of a jig.
Yesterday, Patriots Nation mimicked the lollipop guild’s celebration after getting rid of their ed witch. The Patriots traded former first-round pick N’Keal Harry to the Bears for a future 2024 7th-round pick. But, of course, he could have been traded for a snack at the vending machine, and it would have been worth it.
What We Thought Would Be The “Wicked” N’Keal Era
In 2019, the Patriots entered the draft as the defending Super Bowl champions. The mindset was to draft a future stud pass catcher to keep the GOAT content; it didn’t work out well.
The Patriots drafted N’Keal Harry with the 32nd overall pick. The towering receiver out of Arizona State gave fans hope that he would be a massive component to Brady remaining in New England. Instead, he finished with over 1000 yards and 17 total touchdowns in his final two seasons as a Sun Devil. So it seems like a good pick, right?
Harry struggled to make an impact in his rookie season. He only started in five games, finishing with barely 100 yards receiving and only two touchdowns. His most memorable moment came when the Chiefs strolled into Gillette for a December matchup that ultimately was the beginning of the end of the Patriots dynasty.
Harry caught a pass from Brady. He fought his way to the end zone and scored. Unfortunately, the officials called him out of bounds, taking the score away and leading to the tragic loss.
Blown Call In Chiefs Game USA Today
It all went downhill from that infamous day. Harry failed to finish with over 400 yards in his next two seasons, even being regulated to special teams. That did not work either.
His days were numbered in New England.
What Makes The Harry Pick So Bad?
A month before the NFL draft, I hopped on a college radio show with one of my friends to talk about which player the Patriots should target with their first pick.
After watching the Combine, DK Metcalf stood out like a sore thumb. The dude was a carbon copy of Calvin Johnson. His athleticism grabbed my attention.
Harry was the first receiver on the board, which makes the entire situation worse when you look at the pass-catchers drafted after him.
Who Could Have Bill Picked Instead Of N’Keal Harry?
Anyone could have been drafted instead of N’Keal Harry, and we would not be here. But, looking at the receivers from the class makes you want to curl up in a ball with your favorite flavor of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream.
The 49ers picked Debo Samuel four picks after the historic bust. As a result, Samuel caught twice as many passes for three yards in four games last season than Harry in his entire stint as a Patriot. To make matters worse, Samuel has become a solid rushing option, opening up the playbook for Kyle Shanahan’s offense.
AJ Brown, Mecole Hardman, DK Metcalf, Terry McLaurin, and Hunter Renfrow joined their respective teams. Those guys would have been instant upgrades from the dumpster fire that stepped on the field every week. Hunter Renfrow is Belichick’s dream slot WR. So how did he make it to the 5th round?
Darius Slayton was the final WR of the elite class to be drafted. He has had his struggles in the Big Apple, but the blame can be directed in other directions. Slayton seems like a better version of Jakobi Meyers. Even dealing with injuries over his first few seasons in the NFL, he has put up better numbers than Harry.
Harry being such a historic bust could have sent the Patriots into a downward spiral of decline that would have thrown off their plans for a dynasty revival. Luckily, New England operates differently than the rest of the league.
The Patriots signed significant upgrades to the position, making Harry obsolete. Kendrick Bourne and Jakobi Meyers stepped up. Devante Parker joined the squad over the offseason to replace N’Keal Harry. Things are looking up in Foxborough. It is a new day, so let us rejoice and be glad we do not have to hear more about the former 32nd overall pick.
The Patriots keep moving forward, just like we all should. It’s a fresh start for everyone. I wish the best for Harry in the next chapter of his career. He could end up being a solid option for Justin Fields. Maybe, he could compliment Darnell Mooney on the other side of the field. He could even replicate his time as a Patriot. Who knows?
All we know is the Patriots are ready to make their long-awaited trip back to fighting for a Lombardi trophy. So let’s work with the tools given to us to make that happen.
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