FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — Pick any test. Through five training camp practices, Maurice Harris has passed them all.

By the unofficial box score, he’s caught a team-high 10 passes during full-speed team periods, more than double any other wide receiver.

By the eye test, he’s run smooth routes, showcased strong hands and a widening catch radius.

Even by the Belichick press conference test, Harris has managed to draw rare praise from the tight-lipped, typically gruff coach.

Said Belichick on Monday: “He’s a smart guy. He’s learned well.”

While Julian Edelman sits out with a broken thumb, Harris has rapidly emerged as New England’s best available wideout. If he continues to ascend, the former Washington receiver will find himself alongside Edelman in the starting lineup, and his acquisition will be chalked up as another savvy, economical move by New England.

But perhaps this time the Pats simply benefited from a blunder.

Harris signed his 1-year, $1 million contract in March only after Washington declined to tender him as a restricted free agent. Washington later drafted two wideouts to fill their sudden void at the position, but could have kept Harris for basically pennies.

Instead the 26-year-old hit the market, New England courted him and the two sides quickly struck a deal. Belichick and his staff had seen Harris up close during a preseason game the previous summer, then watched with the rest of the NFL as he broke out for a 10-catch, 124-yard outing in November. Harris finished with a career-high 28 receptions for 304 yards, scratching a previously unseen ceiling in the process.

Weeks later in Foxborough, he bugged backup quarterback Brian Hoyer to help him hit it again.

‘”Just from the day he got here, he was asking, ‘Hey, you wanna go throw in the bubble?'” Hoyer said. “He’s a guy who’s going to work extremely hard.”

Since training camp kicked off Thursday, Harris says his greatest growth has been mental. His grasp of the playbook is appreciably stronger than it was on Day 1 of training camp. But his work is far from finished.

“When you first come in, it’s a lot thrown at you and stuff like that,” Harris said. “So you’ve got to continue to get caught up and stay on pace with that and stay on track.”

To date, Harris has aligned at all three of the Patriots’ receiver positions in practice, utilizing both his slot skills and 6-foot-3 frame that helped him first rise as an outside target in Washington, where Coach Jay Gruden once described Harris as a “quarterback-friendly” receiver. Considering Tom Brady went out of his way to coach Harris personally Friday and work with him individually Saturday, it seems the wideout’s reputation lives on.

Because as a receiver in New England, acing Tom’s test is the most important of them all.

“We were trying to work on some timing with some routes and clean up some details. Things (the quarterbacks) see from their perspective and how it’ll work out better for us,” Harris said Friday. “He was trying to walk me through situations that might come up in a game or practice. There’s a lot of room for improvement, so I’m trying to pick up everything I can so far.”

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