A quick check of the Chicago Bears’ depth chart shows precious few commodities for fantasy football owners to have any interest in, including the wide receiver position where it’s Darnell Mooney and a bunch of guys who have done little and less in their NFL careers. It makes sense then that the team would kick the tires on a former first-round pick in the form of N’Keal Harry, who general manager Ryan Poles acquired on July 13 for the low cost of a seventh-round selection in 2024.
Obviously, any time you can trade for a first-round pick still on their rookie deal for the NFL equivalent of a bag of footballs it’s a surefire sign that things didn’t work out with the original club. Such is the case with Harry, who appeared in 33 of a possible 49 games in three seasons with the New England Patriots, recording 57 receptions, 598 yards, and four TDs. He has topped 50 yards in a game just twice with his best run coming early in 2020 when then-quarterback Cam Newton targeted him 22 times in the season’s first three weeks with his career-best eight-catch, 72-yard effort coming in Week 2.
For his part, Harry wanted to move on before last season, requesting a trade last July. He returned in time to play out the season, but he was a nonparticipant in the club’s offseason program and looked like a very long shot to make the final cut after New England added more talent at the position. Now, he’ll get a chance to turn the page and possibly resurrect his flagging career in Chicago — he is also entering the final year of his rookie deal, so he’s playing for his financial future.
Harry has good size (6-foot-4, 225 pounds) and was well regarded for his ability to make contested catches coming out of Arizona State, but that never showed up with the Patriots. While he lacks great speed, the 24-year-old is joining a team where nothing beyond Mooney as WR1 is set in stone, so he should be given every chance to leapfrog the likes of Byron Pringle, Equanimeous St. Brown, and Velus Jones, who despite being a rookie is seven months older than Harry.
Fantasy football outlook
Even if Harry cracks the starting lineup, though, what’s his ceiling? A year ago, Chicago’s second-most productive wideout was Allen Robinson (now with the Los Angeles Rams), who caught 38 passes for 410 yards and a score.
Sure, you’d expect improvement from quarterback Justin Fields in Year 2, and it’s a new system, but the idea this offense would: a) create a second playable fantasy wideout, and b) it would be Harry, represent two cavernous leaps of faith. As such, he is currently of zero interest.