This stat explains Chicago Bears interest in N’Keal Harry
The Chicago Bears trading for N’Keal Harry is smart, if only for the idea that they get someone who could make the 2022 roster at the price of a 2024 7th-round pick. That could be a player who will not even make the roster in 2024, so that is a decent win for now.
Of course, no one is trying to hype Harry up to be a savior, and most of his career in New England has been a complete wash. However, there has been one thing that Harry has brought to the NFL that helped him stick with the Patriots this long, and also may be helping him make the Chicago Bears roster. That is his run-blocking.
Below you can see how his run blocking ranks in PFF run-blocking metric.
He was the second-best run blocker last season, and you also see Byron Pringle right below him at number eight. Is it a coincidence that Ryan Poles added two of the best run-blocking wide receivers in the NFL?
Another interesting difference that Poles made from the past regime is adding more blocking than receiving to the tight end room. Nothing can show that more than a move from Jimmy Graham to Ryan Griffin. Of course, Poles also added a fullback when the team did not have one last year.
So, to put on my Brian Windhorst voice, why would they do that? Why would the Chicago Bears add two run-blocking wideouts, two run-blocking tight ends, and a run-blocking fullback? What is going on in Chicago?
As Mays noted in his tweet, the Chicago Bears are going to run the ball down the team’s throats. When you think of what Poles did inherit, it was two talented running backs and a mobile quarterback.
Many are unsure if N’Keal Harry will even make the team, and at a seventh-round pick cost, it is no lock. However, they will be on the books for $673K if they let Harry go. On the flip side David Moore, Equanimeous St. Brown, Dante Pettis, and Tajae Sharpe have zero dead money and could be cut with no repercussions.
This, combined with Harry being such a strong blocker, combined with the Bears likely wanting to lean run-heavy and thus having strong blockers on the outside could make Harry closer to a roster lock than some fans think.