How will Maurice Harris fit into the Pats system?

By The Slimbert
Mar. 15, 2019

So if you're anything like me, before the Patriots signed Maurice Harris you had no idea who this guy was. I saw the alert from Bleacher Report pop up on my phone when I was at work and I was like Who the hell is this bum? Upon further examination, he's really the opposite of a bum and will fit into the Pats system pretty well.

The first thing that stands out with this guy is his size. Maurice Harris stands at 6'3" while weighing 201 pounds. That makes him tied with Josh Gordon for the tallest receiver on the team. However, Gordon has about 24 pounds on Harris. Now I am going to compare a lot of Harris's qualities to those of Josh Gordon because it seems as if the Pat's want to use him as the piece to fill the hole the Pat's offense has with big receivers. Most of the guys on the team are under 6 foot and that can lead to some issues. It's hard to expect a smaller guy to win a jump ball over someone the same size or bigger than them. The average height of a CB in the NFL is 5'11". Having taller guys on the offense like Harris and Gordon will help the Pat's out immensely. The uncertainty of Gordon returning for the start of the season must have had management in the market for a bigger receiver.

The next thing that stands out to me is how Alex Smith targeted Harris throughout the 2018 season. What seems to be one of Brady's favorite throws to throw is over the middle on a post or a slant. Alex Smith targeted Harris many times every game for this type of route. However, Smith also targeted Harris on deep jump balls that he would mostly win. Week 9 against the Falcons we saw a beautiful catch by Harris showing everyone that he is capable of these Jump Ball grabs.

In the 2018 season, he had 47 targets with 28 catches, resulting in 304 yards but no touchdowns. This is pretty rough statistically speaking and I still do strongly believe that Josh Gordon will remain the Patriots deep threat this season as he is freakishly fast and big, but with the uncertainty of him being ready for the start of the season (or at all) Harris seems as if he will be a good fit for the system.

Excited to see how it goes for this kid.

Follow me on twitter @TheSlimbert

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports