Topic: The free agency acquisition could play a big role in New England this

Patriots AnalysisPatriots Player ProfilesPatriots Offseason CoverageNew England Patriots 2019 roster breakdown: #82 WR Maurice HarrisNew Tedy Bruschi Jerseys Stitched ,11commentsThe free agency acquisition could play a big role in New England this year.EDTShare this storyShare this on FacebookShare this on TwitterShareAll sharing optionsShareAll sharing options for:New England Patriots 2019 roster breakdown: #82 WR Maurice HarrisTwitterFacebookRedditPocketFlipboardEmailPhoto by Jorge Lemus/NurPhoto via Getty ImagesThe New England Patriots, who are currently in their middle of their 2019 preseason, have 90 players on their active roster at the moment. However, only 53 of them will be able to survive the cutdowns on August 31 and ultimately make the team. Over the course of the summer, we will take a look at the players fighting for those spots to find out who has the best chances of helping the Patriots defend their Super Bowl title.Today, the series continues with one of New England’s offseason acquisitions.Name: Maurice HarrisPosition: Wide receiverJersey number: 82Opening day age: 26Experience: 3Size: 6’3, 205 lbs.2018 review: Following two quiet seasons in Washington, Maurice Harris had a breakout year of sorts in 2018: he established himself as a regular member of his team’s wide receiver rotation, and posted career-highs across the board. Even though the numbers do not jump off the page and are reflective of Harris’ role as a depth player, his third NFL campaign was still a mostly positive one for the former undrafted free agent.Before he was placed on injured reserve because of a concussion in late December, Harris appeared in twelve of Washington’s fifteen games up to that point. Lining up both in the slot and as an outside receiver — he spent equal time in both roles — he was on the field for 462 of a possible 949 offensive snaps (48.7%). Harris was therefore effectively the team’s number two wide receiver behind only Josh Doctson.His receiving numbers tell a slightly different story, though, as Harris was infrequently targeted by Washington’s quarterbacks. All in all, he saw 47 passes thrown his way of which he caught 28 for a combined 304 yards with no scores. The numbers are solid for a complementary wide receiver, but still nothing to write home about. As noted above, however, they did make 2018 a career-year for the Cal product.Harris also saw some action on special teams last season. Before the concussion that cut his season short Youth Steve Grogan Jerseys , he played 26 snaps in the kicking game (of 388; 6.7%). Primarily playing on the return teams, he ran back 3 punts for a combined 11 yards. Again, the numbers are not exactly eye-popping — but they do represent a step in the right direction. Washington, however, did apparently not see enough development to keep Harris around.2019 preview: After the 2018 season came to an end, Washington declined to place a tender sheet on Harris. In turn, the restricted free agent’s status changed to ‘unrestricted’ and he hit the open market. Shortly thereafter, the Patriots picked him up on a one-year, $1.0 million contract — a deal that did not guarantee the 26-year old a spot on the team. That being said, he looked like a roster lock during his first practices with the team.After already being a standout performer during organized team activities and minicamp, Harris continued to shine early on in training camp: he proved himself a capable receiving weapon no matter where he lined up, and quickly built chemistry with quarterback Tom Brady. His success continued into preseason, as he caught 3 passes for 27 yards and a touchdown during the Patriots’ first (Brady-less) exhibition contest.And while Jakobi Meyers probably earns the title for most impressive offseason wide receiver addition so far, Harris still has put himself in a very good position to earn a spot on New England’s roster come the regular season. And while his role has yet to be determined, his size and route running should make him a productive and regularly used weapon in the Patriots’ partially new-look offensive arsenal. LAKE FOREST, Ill. (AP) — David Montgomery used to draw inspiration watching highlights of Walter Payton on his grandfather’s VCR, so consider this a moment of sweetness.The Chicago Bears addressed one of their biggest needs with their first pick in the draft Steve Grogan Jerseys Stitched , trading up with the New England Patriots to take the star running back from Iowa State on Friday night.Montgomery said he felt “grateful, blessed.” And being drafted by Chicago was particularly special.“I watched Walter Payton when I was younger,” he said. “Seeing how he ran, trying to correlate a lot of the ways he ran into my game.”Chicago moved up 14 spots to grab Montgomery at No. 73 overall, making him the first Cyclones player drafted since 2014. The 5-foot-10, 222-pound Montgomery ran for 2,925 yards and 26 touchdowns in three seasons. He had 1,216 yards rushing and 13 TDs as a junior.Chicago also acquired a sixth-round pick (205), while New England got the No. 87 pick and a fifth-rounder (162) this year as well as a fourth-round selection in 2020.“He’s just a well-rounded back,” general manager Ryan Pace said. “It’s everything you look for in a running back, starting with his instincts, his vision, his ability to make people miss. He’s just a well-rounded player. Good hands. He fits the offense very well.”The Bears had a long wait with no picks in the first two rounds for the first time since 2010. They came into the draft in a far different spot after winning the NFC North at 12-4 in coach Matt Nagy’s first season. The Monsters of the Midway ended a string of four straight last-place finishes and made the playoffs for just the second time since the 2006 team’s Super Bowl run.They sent their first-round pick this year to Oakland in the blockbuster deal for All-Pro edge rusher Khalil Mack just before the start of last season. And they dealt their second-rounder to New England a year ago when they traded up to get receiver Anthony Miller in the second round.Montgomery is known as a calm, patient runner with size and toughness and a knack for breaking tackles. He ranked third in the Big 12 in yards rushing per game at 101.3 last season.Montgomery also had 71 receptions over three years despite playing in a run-based offense. And Pace sees someone with “natural hands” who can be a good route runner.His ability to catch passes out of the backfield is a big plus, considering Nagy’s system favors running backs who can do just that.Howard’s deficiencies in the passing game made him an odd fit and helped punch his ticket out of town, with the Bears trading him to Philadelphia in March. He went from making the Pro Bowl as a rookie in 2016 and running for more than 1,100 yards in each of his first two seasons to setting a career low with 935 last season. His 250 carries were also the fewest for him Youth John Hannah Jerseys , though he still had more combined attempts than the other running backs currently on Chicago’s roster — Tarik Cohen, Mike Davis, Taquan Mizzell Sr. and Ryan Nall. Even with receiver Cordarrelle Patterson expected to get some carries, there still was room for another running back.In Montgomery, Pace believes the Bears will have an immediate contributor. As impressed as he was with his physical skills, something else stood out.“There are incredible stories about his work ethic,” Pace said. “Going up to the facility late at night and bringing teammates with him to watch additional tape and get extra work in. You just hear one thing after another about his professional approach to the game, how important it is to him and his work ethic is off the charts. And how infectious that was to the entire team there.”Chicago heads into the final day of the draft with one pick each in the fourth and sixth rounds, plus two seventh-rounders.The Bears might look for help at tight end and the defensive backfield not to mention kicker, where they have a major hole. Chicago let Cody Parkey go after one rough season that ended with a double-doink miss off the upright and crossbar on a potential winning field goal at the end of the wild-card loss to Philadelphia. The Bears have three kickers with no experience — Redford Jones, Chris Blewitt and Elliott Fry.“Looking at the board right now and where we’re at, I feel really good about the draft tomorrow (Saturday),” Pace said. “Like I said a couple of days ago, this is a very deep draft, especially in the later rounds and yeah, I think we’re going to be able to hit a lot of good players tomorrow.”