As the first wide receiver, taken in the first round by the New England Patriots during Bill Belichick’s tenure as head coach, much is expected from rookie N’Keal Harry. However, his tenure with the Patriots started on a sour note as he began the regular season on injured reserve following an ankle injury during a preseason game. Harry was eligible to play in the Patriots’ Week 9 showdown against the Baltimore Ravens but he was inactive. With the Patriots facing the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 11, many are wondering what kind of impact Harry can contribute to the team this season.

Herm Edwards, Harry’s college coach at Arizona State, assured the Patriots that veteran quarterback Tom Brady can put his trust in the 6-foot-2, 225-pound wideout. “He’s got great football instincts,” Edwards said during an interview on The Greg Hill Show on Tuesday.

According to Edwards, Brady and the rest of the Patriots know that Harry can be a reliable target on 1-on-1 situations. “The game’s not too big for him. The lights won’t be too big for N’Keal when he’s on the field. That won’t be a problem,” Edwards said. Edwards said Harry can also be relied upon to come down with the ball in crowded spots due to his height and strong hands. Also, the first-round pick can help the Patriots in red-zone situations.

In his three-year stint at Arizona State, Harry caught 213 passes for 2,889 yards and 22 touchdowns. Earlier, Brady lauded the Patriots veteran wideouts Julian Edelman, Mohamed Sanu, Phillip Dorsett for guiding young receivers such as Harry, Jakobi Meyers, and Gunner Olszewski.

McDaniels updates media about Harry’s work

During a post-bye conference call with New England media, Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels updated them on Harry’s development on the practice field and what he could contribute to the team’s offense.

According to McDaniels, Harry’s hard work during practice allows him to make significant progress. McDaniels said the Patriots are working to add more to Harry’s arsenal in terms of what he can do and things that he’s comfortable doing. “I think it’s all positive. Everybody’s working hard for the same goal,” said McDaniels.

Belichick gives positive review on Harry

Belichick, who took Harry with the 32nd overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, told Ordway, Merloni, and Fauria that Harry is practicing well and the team is currently determining how it goes relative to a game. “He’s practicing well. He’s improving every day. He’s working hard," Belichick said of Harry. However, the veteran coach said he has yet to determine Harry’s role or if he would play against the Eagles. “We haven’t made up the game plan yet. I don’t know what we’re going to do this week,” he said.