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The Texans Should Take A Flier On N’Keal Harry

The former Patriots WR requested a trade yesterday.

New England Patriots v Miami Dolphins Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images

Texans general manager Nick Caserio was part of the player personnel department that selected N’Keal Harry with the 32nd overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft. Flash forward to today, and Caserio is the general manager of the Houston Texans, while the former first round pick Harry wants out of New England.It seems like a natural fit, but does it make sense for the Texans?

Caserio signed several free agents at the wide receiver position in his first offseason in charge in Houston, notably Chris Conley, Donte Moncrief, and Andre Roberts. However, the only receivers on their rookie deals are 2021 rookie Nico Collins, 2020 selection Isaiah Coulter, who did not play any snaps at receiver last season, and Keke Coutee, who has been in and out of the doghouse since he arrived to Houston in 2018. Coutee’s contract expires at the end of the season.

Because Harry was a first-round selection two years ago, he has two years left on his contract and a possible fifth-year option should the team he’s with choose to exercise it. However, if he’s cut, Harry loses the chance of possibly getting that fifth year option exercised by his new employer.

Harry has been incredibly underwhelming in his first two seasons, recording just 414 yards and four touchdowns in 21 games with the Pats. However, he’s been smothered by the depth chart in New England and Bill Belichick has not utilized him properly. Harry is a deep threat who can take the top off of a defense. His quarterbacks, Tom Brady and Cam Newton, are not known as deep ball passers.

I don’t believe Harry will be able to live up to the hype he had coming out of college, but he still has a lot of mileage left and can fulfill that deep threat role Will Fuller vacated when he left in free agency. Coming to Houston could be the perfect mix of new scenery and familiarity. He can work with David Culley, who was most recently a receivers coach, and hopefully cultivate some of that talent that made him a first rounder in 2019. As a rebuilding team, the Texans should be welcoming as much talent as possible. Harry provides this, and Houston should look to make a trade for him.

I can’t imagine Harry goes for more than a seventh-round pick at this point, so in the chance he doesn’t work out, the Texans wouldn’t have spent much. It’s a very low-risk, high-reward situation that should pique the interest of rebuilding teams like the Texans.