Mecole Hardman, Wide Receiver
Mecole Hardman is similar to Edwards-Helaire in that he has been the subject of a lot of criticism during his time in Kansas City. Many fans expected him to be a poor man’s Tyreek Hill, which I never believed was fair since it puts young players in a terrible position when they are compared to bona fide superstars. Nonetheless, Mecole Hardman’s role is not safe at this point. He’s been a popular break-out candidate for years and has been criticized for his lack of a complete route tree. Is this the year he finally takes that next step?
Despite only 205 career targets, per PFF ($), Hardman is currently the longest-tenured wide receiver on the Kansas City roster. Some think that would translate into him seeing a bump in targets, but that not necessarily be the case. The Chiefs brought in several other receivers this offseason to replace the likes of Hill, Demarcus Robinson, and Byron Pringle. JuJu Smith-Schuster will look to repeat the 1,400-yard season he had in 2018, Marquez Valdes-Scantling will be aiming to be the Chiefs’ primary deep threat, and Skyy Moore could be a rookie surprise. All of that could lead to Hardman being pushed as far down as the fourth option on the wide receiver depth chart.
Despite being on this list, if he has a bad camp, I do not believe that Hardman will be benched outright, and will continue the role that he had last season. Even if he is pushed down the depth chart, Andy Reid will still likely use him as a weapon and take advantage of his speed, but he is in danger of not seeing full-time snaps like he is hoping to. If he can take that step as a route-runner and become a complete receiver, then the Chiefs will be much more dangerous on offense than many fans outside of Kansas City will anticipate.
What do you think of the players mentioned? Which do you think will lose their starting spots by the end of training camp? Feel free to let me know in the comment section or on Twitter (@StrozinskyLucas).