In a previous article, we highlighted the fact that Bill Belichick and the Pats’ scouts really don’t have a whole lot of time to prepare for the upcoming season. Before the preseason even begins, there are a number of camps and practices that are held across the country that give coaches and scouts the chance to see top talent.
For a team that is not known for its consistency in the draft, the New England Patriots have had a very successful past few years. From drafting Tom Brady in the sixth round of the 2000 draft to trading up to draft Jimmy Garoppolo with the second pick in the 2018 draft, the Pats have made a name for themselves as one of the most successful teams in the league.
There is always an element of surprise in an NFL training camp. Or, at least, there should be. Tom Brady and the New England Patriots have seen this over and over again during the Bill Belichick era, but this year’s edition is a bit different.. Read more about tom brady number 12 buccaneers and let us know what you think.
Perhaps Tom Brady would not have left the New England Patriots if Bill Belichick had taken a different path at the 2019 NFL Draft. While there were many reasons for the great quarterback to leave Foxborough, there’s no question that a lack of sufficient weapons frustrated the seven-time Super Bowl champion.
It didn’t have to be that way, of course.
Unfortunately for Brady and the Patriots, Belichick disregarded his scouts and passed up on potential stars in favor of N’Keal Harry, a first-round selection who hasn’t lived up to expectations. However, if a recent pattern of well-timed training camps continues, the best coach in NFL history may just prove his scouts and the GOAT incorrect.
Bill Belichick went rogue on draft day, and Tom Brady and the Patriots paid the price.
While Brady and Belichick have had a lot of success together, it wasn’t always because of Belichick’s efforts as a general manager. He didn’t do the greatest job of surrounding his top quarterback with starting-caliber skill players, after all. Belichick, in particular, struggled to find receivers who were able to communicate well with TB12.
Fortunately for Brady, the Patriots eventually gave him a first-round selection in 2019. The GOAT, on the other hand, did not profit from Belichick’s revolutionary choice to spend a top-32 pick on a receiver. Belichick allegedly disregarded his own scouts and went for Harry instead of DK Metcalf, A.J. Brown, or Deebo Samuel. The Patriots’ decision to draft the former Arizona State star hasn’t worked out.
Harry never connected with Brady after missing almost half of his first season due to a hamstring ailment. New England’s veteran quarterback lacked the patience to work with the rookie wideout, and the two never had another opportunity to practice together. While Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers had a strong 2020 season, Harry battled to remain fit and contribute once again.
To make things worse, by seeking a trade this summer, the 2019 first-round selection exposed himself to even more criticism. Given that he has only caught 45 passes in 18 games, Harry hasn’t done himself any favors in terms of public perception. Meanwhile, the news had to be painful for Belichick, who obviously cares about the 23-year-future. old’s After all, if Harry fails to live up to his selection pedigree, Patriots supporters will have another more cause to doubt Belichick’s managerial abilities.
If a well-timed training camp trend continues, Belichick may just prove everyone wrong.
N’Keal Harry of the New England Patriots stretches to make a leaping grab during a training camp drill. | Getty Images/Kathryn Riley
Brady didn’t seem to be a huge fan of Harry. Cam Newton, ironically, has been a vocal supporter of the talented wideout since joining the Patriots. The guy with the most invested in Harry’s future is, without a doubt, his coach, Bill Belichick.
And, if a timely trend continues, he may just prove everyone wrong.
Although Harry’s future in Foxborough is unclear, the third-year wideout seems set to make a significant step forward in 2021. In fact, it’s difficult not to be enthralled by the prospect of a Patriots attack led by a healthy, confident Harry.
The 6-foot-4, 225-pound receiver is said to have had a good start to training camp. In one-on-one drills, Harry’s size and toughness have stood out, and he’s gotten a few loud screams from Patriots fans for some highlight-reel receptions. Of course, he’ll have to show he can consistently make plays in preseason games. During the early days of camp, Harry undoubtedly turned heads and raised eyebrows.
Is it a guarantee that he’ll catch 80 passes and play in the Pro Bowl?
Should Belichick and Patriots fans be upbeat about Harry’s future prospects?
As long as the great pass-catcher keeps racking up wins, he should have more chances to show off his abilities. The receiver position in New England is in urgent need of additional productivity, so don’t rule out Harry as a big contributor. If that happens, Belichick will seem a lot wiser for betting on the big-bodied wideout’s potential. It remains to be seen if that occurs, but Harry seems to be on the right road after a painfully sluggish start to his NFL career.
N’Keal Harry isn’t the only recent first-round selection whose future in Foxborough is unclear.
Since 2013, the Patriots have had first-round draft selections.
2020: — 2019: N’Keal Harry – wants out of NE 2018: Isiah Wynn – on IR every year 2018: Sony Michel – benched for a 3rd RB 2017: — 2016: — 2015: Malcom Brown – not re-signed 2014: Dominique Easley – released after two years 2013: —
July 6, 2021 — Warren Sharp (@SharpFootball)
Sadly for Belichick, Harry isn’t the Patriots’ only recent early-round draft choice who will be tested in the coming weeks. In fact, two other first-round draft picks in the league have questionable long-term prospects in Foxborough.
With the No. 23 overall selection in the 2018 NFL Draft, New England selected left lineman Isaiah Wynn. The former Georgia Bulldog has battled with injuries despite being a strong pass protector with excellent agility and mobility abilities. Despite the Patriots picking up his fifth-year option, Wynn will have to prove he can remain healthy and defend the quarterback’s blind side if he wants to stay with the team any longer.
Meanwhile, his college teammate’s chances of relocating to New England after the 2021 season seem low. Sony Michel, like Wynn, has significant durability issues. Plus, despite seeming to be a one-trick pony at Georgia, the 24-year-old running back hasn’t lived up to his first-round billing. Michel’s days as a starter may be numbered, with talented third-year player Damien Harris set for a bigger role.
So, even if N’Keal Harry is on the mend, Bill Belichick isn’t out of the woods yet.
Pro Football Reference provided all statistics.
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Last season, the New England Patriots and head coach Bill Belichick were widely criticized for their decision to hold a training camp in July instead of at the end of the summer as the NFL typically does. The reasoning was that the team would be at peak physical condition by week two of training camp, which is when they usually break camp and return home.. Read more about tom brady jersey number in college and let us know what you think.
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