Mecole Hardman’s Performance
Mecole Hardman, the absolute speedster from the University of Georgia, had an up and down rookie season. He’d go long stretches where his impact was minimal, highlighted by a dropped pass here or there, then he’d explode for some jaw dropping display of athleticism that showed his true potential.
Through eight games he’s on pace for career highs in catches and yards, with 44 and 694, and is on pace to match his 2019 touchdown mark of six. Still, he has largely maintained his inconsistent play with nearly half those catches and yards coming in two contests. There is a lot expected from a second round pick, and one with such athletic talent, and the question is whether he will ultimately match those expectations.
In all fairness to Hardman, while he’s had a number of games without Sammy Watkins in which to settle into the number two receiver role, that’s a new role for him. It’s understandable the first game or two wasn’t superb as he stepped up his competition from the third corner or a safety to a team’s first or second corner.
In the game against the Jets Hardman did in fact impress with a career best in single-game receptions and single-game yards. The prior game against the Denver Broncos, in which the offense as a whole struggled, Hardman was still quite productive with two catches for 57 yards.
It remains to be seen whether Hardman can consistently handle the responsibilities of the second receiver in Andy Reid’s offense. He might not have to do that much this year, but fortunately, the last two games showed the potential is definitely there.