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Vikings Sign WR N’Keal Harry

Vikings take a shot at another former first-round WR

Green Bay Packers v Chicago Bears Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images

The Vikings were active today with a couple notable roster moves. They placed DT James Lynch on IR as expected after his ACL injury, and signed WR N’Keal Harry.

Harry, 6’4”, 225 pounds, 4.53” 40 time with a 38.5” vertical jump, was a former first-round pick of the New England Patriots in 2019 (#32 overall) but didn’t work out for them and was released last year. He was picked up by the Bears but remained unproductive.

His draft profile comment by Lance Zierlein proved to be a fairly accurate description of Harry’s experience in the league:

Back-shoulder boss who thrives with contested catch opportunities outside the numbers but lacks explosive traits. Harry’s ability to body-up opponents and win with ball skills is undeniable, but his inability to find a threatening top gear or shake loose from tight man coverage must be accounted for within his new employer’s scheme. His experience playing inside should help and teams will love his impact as a run-blocker. His competitiveness and ability to come down with the ball could make him a productive member of wide receiver trio in short order.

Harry has not been able to gain separation consistently since being drafted, which explains his having only 66 receptions on 116 targets for 735 yards and 5 TDs in four seasons. If you want to look for positives with Harry, his yards per route run has improved each season, going from 0.85 as a rookie to 1.47 last season. Harry has also returned 17 punts since entering the league, although only 3 since his rookie season.

I suspect his role with the Vikings, should he make the final 53-man roster, would be primarily as a special teamer with some potential as a niche, potentially red zone, receiver. Harry has the size to be a good blocker and potentially a gunner on special teams, but I don’t see him as any higher than WR5 on the Vikings depth chart unless Keenan McCardell is somehow able to unlock potential that other WR coaches have not been able to do.