Tuesday, June 18, 2024
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Vikings moving former Patriots first-round wide receiver to tight end ahead of 2024 season

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While his NFL career as a receiver hasn’t panned out, N’Keal Harry is hoping to have more success as a tight end. The Vikings announced Tuesday that the Patriots‘ former first-round pick has changed positions. The switch comes at the start of the Vikings’ mandatory minicamp. 

Harry’s move to tight end is two fold. It gives the Vikings some extra depth as they await the return of Pro Bowler T.J. Hockenson, who is still working his way back from a torn ACL/MCL injury that was sustained in Week 16 of the 2023 season. The Vikings also feel that Harry can bring something to the table as a tight end. 

“N’Keal is really fired up about it,” said Vikings coach Kevin O’Connell, via Sports Illustrated. “His route ability, his ability to be explosive, contested catches, different variations where we’re hoping we’re developing a guy that can grow into a real third-down weapon, red-zone weapon with his skill set. 

“The more he can do from an all-down standpoint will only help his value as we continue to put together that tight end group knowing that T.J. is along that recovery process — and doing a great job with it — we are going to have a lot of reps, we’re going to have those guys be able to battle it out for those roles, especially early in the season.”

Harry, 26, is surely hoping that a position change will jumpstart his career. Despite his talent (he put up prolific numbers during his final two years at Arizona State), Harry was unable to make a difference during his three seasons with the Patriots, who selected him with the 32nd overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft. His time in New England was followed with a forgettable stint with the Bears during the 2022 season. 

Harry bounced off and on the Vikings’ roster last season, appearing in nine regular season games. This season, though, Harry is looking to earn a permanent spot on the Vikings’ roster as a tight end. 

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