N’Keal Harry on the Rise

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Tony Pauline

Draft Analyst Writer

With so much speculation on the receivers in this year's draft and where they will end up, few can argue that Arizona State’s N’Keal Harry has improved his draft stock since throwing his hat into the ring. And he’s turning out to be one of the better stories in this year’s draft.

Harry, who lived with his grandmother in Phoenix, Arizona, from the age of four, decided to enter the draft after a season which included 73 receptions, 1,088 receiving yards and nine touchdowns.

The junior was far and away the most prolific pass catcher on the Sun Devils depth chart, as Harry more than doubled his nearest teammate in all pass-catching categories. He literally was the go-to guy on the Arizona State offense who could not be stopped.

Harry was more than impressive during the combine and far surpassed expectations during testing. His 40 time of 4.53 seconds is not impressive at face value, but considering most thought Harry would struggle to get under 4.65, it was a big victory.

He’s also been a pleasant surprise during interviews on recent visits with teams across the league.

Coaches and general managers have taken notice of Harry’s aptitude during white-board sessions. His ability to diagnose plays that have been diagrammed on boards and the feedback he’s had on what’s expected to take place in those plays has impressed.

Harry made official visits to see the Buffalo Bills, New Orleans Saints and New England Patriots this week. The Seattle Seahawks and San Francisco 49ers are on his schedule next week.

So where does Harry end up in the draft? 

There are some who feel he could slide into the late part of Round 1, which is a little rich for my taste. Presently I see Harry in a clump of receivers that includes A.J. Brown, Deebo Samuel and Terry McLaurin, all of whom I expect to come off the board at the top of Round 2.

On a lighter note, Harry will be reunited with his mother on draft weekend for just the third time since he was four years old. Since he moved to live with his grandmother in Arizona at the age of four, Harry has seen him mom just twice.

His mother, who hails from the Caribbean country of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, recently received her travel visa for entry into the United States and plans to be with her soon-to-be-NFL-receiver son when he’s selected in the draft.