There are some misconceptions about Kansas Metropolis Chiefs WR Mecole Hardman heading into the 2022 NFL year.
Just one of the most recurrent misconceptions is the thought that Hardman only thrives as a gadget receiver. That is to say that he wants made touches, usually driving the line of scrimmage, in buy to have achievement in Andy Reid’s offense. Factors like display passes, reverses and so on.
There is no denying this distinct function has been a large component of his game in excess of the past a few seasons. Previous 12 months, he even excelled at it, recording a whopping 487 yards just after the catch, great for seventh-most among receivers in the NFL’s normal period. He will go on to have good results in the purpose, but it won’t be the only part for him in Kansas City transferring ahead.
Hardman does not have a great deal of expertise acting as the team’s guide receiver with Tyreek Hill on the sidelines, but when he’s had the prospect, he flashed. Again in 2019, Hardman’s regular depth of focus on was 12.25 from Week 2 via 7 days 5 when Hill was out with a sternoclavicular joint dislocation. This is to say that on normal, he was catching passes a lot more than 12 yards past the line of scrimmage. Hardman’s common depth of target extrapolated in excess of the training course of a season would have been fantastic for 36th in the NFL. Hill, who is identified as the league’s premier deep risk, has under no circumstances had a lot more than 12.9 normal depth of target in a solitary period.
For reference, Marquez Valdes-Scantling has led the NFL in average depth of focus on in just about every of the past two seasons (more than 18 every single time). It’s tough to picture Hardman hitting Valdes-Scantling’s quantities (specifically when they’re on the identical crew), but it’s not unreasonable to believe he could at minimum match the league average (all-around 10 yards) in a season with a increased share of prospects.
If that is not enough evidence that Hardman can excel as a lot more than a gadget receiver, take into account how great he is at producing separation. Previous time, Hardman’s focus on separation towards guy protection ranked the next-very best in the NFL between receivers per PlayerProfiler.com with 2.83 yards of separation for every focus on. Essentially, in male protection situations the place he was specific, Hardman was obtaining open with some of the highest frequency in the NFL.
But wait around, there is even additional.
You may well not imagine of Hardman as an elite goal in the red zone since of his dimensions and skillset. He only had a 6% contested capture amount last yr, which isn’t very fantastic. But he also finished 16th in the NFL with 16 targets and nine receptions in the pink zone. Two of all those receptions resulted in touchdowns and the relaxation aided the Chiefs get into placement to set up details.
It is comprehensible that men and women are skeptical of Hardman soon after his first a few seasons in the league. There are also a great deal of motives to be optimistic that he can thrive in an expanded job wherever he’s asked to do a lot more than he was in prior seasons.