Chiefs’ Mecole Hardman can be much more than a gadget receiver in 20223 min read
There are some misconceptions about Kansas City Chiefs WR Mecole Hardman heading into the 2022 NFL season.
One particular of the most regular misconceptions is the concept that Hardman only thrives as a gadget receiver. That is to say that he needs created touches, generally guiding the line of scrimmage, in purchase to have accomplishment in Andy Reid’s offense. Points like monitor passes, reverses and so on.
There is no denying this certain purpose has been a substantial portion of his video game in excess of the past 3 seasons. Past year, he even excelled at it, recording a whopping 487 yards after the capture, good for seventh-most among receivers in the NFL’s normal period. He will continue on to have success in the job, but it won’t be the only function for him in Kansas City shifting ahead.
Hardman doesn’t have a good deal of practical experience performing as the team’s lead receiver with Tyreek Hill on the sidelines, but when he’s experienced the possibility, he flashed. Back again in 2019, Hardman’s ordinary depth of focus on was 12.25 from 7 days 2 by means of Week 5 when Hill was out with a sternoclavicular joint dislocation. This is to say that on typical, he was catching passes more than 12 yards past the line of scrimmage. Hardman’s common depth of goal extrapolated about the training course of a year would have been great for 36th in the NFL. Hill, who is recognised as the league’s premier deep danger, has never experienced more than 12.9 ordinary depth of goal in a single season.
For reference, Marquez Valdes-Scantling has led the NFL in ordinary depth of goal in just about every of the past two seasons (more than 18 each individual time). It is tough to imagine Hardman hitting Valdes-Scantling’s numbers (especially when they’re on the same workforce), but it is not unreasonable to assume he could at minimum match the league regular (about 10 yards) in a time with a greater share of alternatives.
If that is not ample evidence that Hardman can excel as additional than a gadget receiver, think about how excellent he is at producing separation. Last season, Hardman’s focus on separation towards guy coverage rated the next-best in the NFL amongst receivers for every PlayerProfiler.com with 2.83 yards of separation per target. Fundamentally, in person protection cases where by he was targeted, Hardman was finding open up with some of the highest frequency in the NFL.
But wait around, there’s even a lot more.
You could possibly not imagine of Hardman as an elite concentrate on in the pink zone mainly because of his dimension and skillset. He only had a 6% contested catch charge final calendar year, which is not quite very good. But he also finished 16th in the NFL with 16 targets and nine receptions in the red zone. Two of those people receptions resulted in touchdowns and the relaxation served the Chiefs get into situation to put up details.
It is comprehensible that men and women are skeptical of Hardman after his first a few seasons in the league. There are also plenty of good reasons to be optimistic that he can thrive in an expanded role where he’s questioned to do far more than he was in prior seasons.