With the Bears just two weeks away before the team’s scheduled report day on July 26, general manager Ryan Poles added another player to the wide receiver room.
The Bears traded a 2024 seventh-round draft pick to the New England Patriots for former first-round pick N’Keal Harry, according to NFL Network National Insider Ian Rapoport.
Since Harry was drafted with the 32nd overall pick in 2019, the former Arizona State receiver has left plenty to be desired. In three seasons, 33 games, Harry only has 57 receptions, 598 yards and four touchdowns.
But that lack of productivity out of the former first-round draft pick is exactly why Poles made this move. The Bears’ wide receiver room will have eight players (including Harry) who weren’t on the team in 2021. Only Darnell Mooney, Nsimba Webster, Isaiah Coulter and Dazz Newsome are returning.
Outside of Mooney, each of these receivers must prove to this new coaching staff they are worth keeping on the roster. So, it doesn’t hurt to add a player like Harry who has some good physical attributes. At 6-foot-4, he would be the second-tallest receiver behind Equanimeous St. Brown (6-foot-5) and at 228 pounds he would be the heaviest, but he still ran a 4.53 40-yard dash at the NFL Scouting Combine.
Even though Harry, 24, hasn’t made many contributions in the receiving game thus far, he has proven to be a consistent blocker. And this can’t go unnoticed especially since it appears offensive coordinator Luke Getsy will make the run game a big component of the offense.
Poles added another pass catcher for quarterback Justin Fields and did so before training camp – which will give the two some time to develop some chemistry. Despite some new acquisitions like Byron Pringle, Brown, Dante Pettis, Tajae Sharpe and Velus Jones Jr. getting reps in OTAs, playing in pads is a completely different game. Once Harry gets the terminology and the playbook down, it should be essentially an even playing field.
If Harry can make some of those contested catches that he was known for in college and continue being a reliable blocker, then he has a shot to make this roster.
Poles has made it clear about his approach with the wide receiver room: quantity over quality. This may backfire on him, but at least he is giving himself multiple chances to help out Fields this season.