Former Georgia wide receiver Mecole Hardman was selected with the 56th pick in the second round of the 2019 NFL Draft on Friday, bringing his speed and athleticism to a high-flying Chiefs offense.
Hardman finished his Georgia career with 13 touchdowns and 1,058 yards from scrimmage. In 2018, he was a home-run threat for the Bulldogs offense, showing the capability of making big plays in the return game, as well. With 2018 NFL MVP Patrick Mahomes at quarterback in Kansas City, Hardman looks to be another weapon for head coach Andy Reid.
The Kansas City Chiefs ranked No. 3 in passing offense in 2018, averaging 310 yards per game through the air according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
Hardman joins a receiving corps in Kansas City that is talented with a potential hole to be filled with the absence of star receiver Tyreek Hill.
Hill was indefinitely suspended by the Chiefs last week. The suspension followed controversy around a released audio tape revealing a conversation Hill and his fiancee discussing Hill’s 3-year-old son’s injury. Hill is being investigated as the suspect of child abuse.
As far as Hardman goes, it’s not likely that he will be a direct replacement for Hill, who recorded 87 receptions for 1,479 yards and 12 touchdowns in 2018. Rather, Hardman could be a tool for Andy Reid if utilized in the open space, where Hardman excels with his speed, as he ran a 4.33 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine.
With the Hill situation still pending, Hardman will have to fight for playing time among the likes of players like Sammy Watkins, Demarcus Robinson, Kelvin Benjamin and Gehrig Deiter.
Where Hardman can make his presence known initially could be the return game with punts and kickoffs. The Chiefs ranked No. 4 in the NFL in that area with the explosiveness of Hill. Hardman might be able to keep the success going.