Patriots: 3 players poised for breakout seasons in 2020

(Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)
(Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images) /
3 of 4
New England Patriots WR N’Keal Harry (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
New England Patriots WR N’Keal Harry (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /

2. N’Keal Harry

N’Keal Harry is ready to shake off his rookie season and become a big-time contributor to the wide receiver group.

During the Bill Belichick era in New England, N’Keal Harry was the first wide receiver ever taken in the first round of the NFL Draft. The last wide receiver the Patriots drafted in the first round was Terry Glenn in 1996 when the team was being led by coach Bill Parcells, just two years after Robert Kraft first purchased the franchise.

At 6-foot-4 and 225 pounds, Harry is the biggest wide receiver on the Patriots roster. He brings youth, size, strength, and speed to the position that the Pats have been lacking for the past few seasons.

After spending the first half of his rookie season on injured reserve, Harry started five out of the seven games he was available for the Patriots. He finished his rookie season with just 12 receptions for 105 yards and two touchdowns.

Despite the often and regular rookie receiver mistakes, Harry seemed to pick up the complex New England offense well and showcased himself as a playmaker for the Patriots. What’s most noteworthy from Harry’s rookie year is how well he followed Brady mid-play in order to help bail out his QB, which is something we saw on multiple occasions.

What would have been one of Harry’s best plays from his rookie season came during a December game against the Kansas City Chiefs. He ran a designed motion-drag route behind the offensive line, broke an arm tackle from Tyrann Mathieu en route to running up the sideline for what we thought was a touchdown — the refs robbed him of the score claiming he stepped out of bounds, but he didn’t.

This season, with what is expected to be a new and improved Patriots offense under Cam Newton, Harry is poised for a breakout campaign in year two of his NFL career.