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Justin Hardy Will Be A Major Upgrade


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My biggest issue was HD wasn't in the game mentally most times. He would check out because the offense flowed through Roddy and Julio. Go back and watch how often he gave up on routes. The 2012 NFCCG catch is a prime example. You never knew if he was going to finish his route. With Ryan being a spot thrower, that's the reason for the high INT % when targeting HD.

Hardy, when compared to the WRs under Roddy and Julio, Hardy should be fighting for the #3 spot out the gate based on his film, very good hands and his route running. Weems is only solid. Hester is good for one game a year. Hankerson is his real competition. In a season or two, I think it will be clear that Hardy is a major upgrade over HD as a slot WR. I don't think he has #2 WR potential, but will be a respected slot WR.

I was bothered by HD giving up on routes too early as well. This was a big issue for all the receivers last year which probably had to do with poor pass protection and overall frustration.

I do believe it was a sound move letting HD go. I also think Hardy was a great pick but I do have reservations.

Several scouting reports state he lacks quickness and explosiveness out of breaks to create instant separation. Since he is not a deep threat he will make his bacon running sharp crisp routes and understanding holes in the zone.

If he can produce separation in the NFL I think he will play a valuable role comparable to Harry.

If he struggles Hankerson, Weems and Hester could take his role until he develops.

Edited by insight
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1) Are you going based on draft position and assuming success? Cause I shouldn't have to tell you how "Humiliating" that is.

2) Folks are tired of HD because he cost 5 million AND he was average. Not just because he was average. You need a snicker.

3) When a 4th round pick can come in and supplant you, you shouldn't be getting paid $5 mil. Sorry. That's the truth. You can parade any logic you want and hurl whatever insults you can. That's the bottom line. And the FO agrees. They obviously thought a cast-off or a 4th rounder could do as much or more than HD. That's why he's gone and our short term goals are unchanged.

1) I never equated being a first rounder to success. I said being a first rounder almost always means the player will be getting first team reps. Do you need a remedial English course? You seem to be completely incapable of either expressing or comprehending rational thoughts in plain English.

At least you finally spelled "humiliation" correctly. Grats on that.

2) Where did I mention Harry Douglas being cut as a bad thing? He was, is, and will be a career #3. A decent, adequate non-star who unspectacularly fills a role. I don't care that he was cut, although I wouldn't have cut either him or Blalock until I was certain I had upgraded the positions.

3) We are not up against the cap, and HD's $5 million is high, but not exorbitant. HD was a known commodity. Average, but familiar. If the oft-injured and talentless Hankerson and the slow rookie cannot provide production, then the pedestrian HD will begin to look like a bargain at $5 million.

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Hardy is going to be an absolute beast in the slot, a bonafide steal in the 4th......other than Cooper he may be the very most polished WR in the draft and most NFL ready albeit he is not a physical specimen. What I love about him the most is the way he attacks the football and plucks it out of the air.

70% of his grabs were first downs, man Roddy Hester and Weems are all getting long toothed, Hardy da future.....

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We have spent alot of time talking about our defensive upgrades. I think that we will be much improved on D this year, but not the elite powerhouse that some might expect. I still think that there are holes in the defense, mainly at MLB and FS. But we should be a much better team on that side of the ball.

An under-rated aspect of the draft though is the youth infusion we got in our talent positions. Tevin Coleman has been the main object of praise and rightfully so. We are moving to a zone blocking concept and his one cut talents are ideally suited. Plus 2,000+ yds, and 15 TDs is undeniable.

The true under-the-radar pick was that of the all-time NCAA leader in receptions, ECU's own Justin Hardy. Now admittedly I didn't know much about him until we selected him. I'd heard of him, but never really did any checking up on the guy until we drafted him. But I have to say, once I did I was blown away. This guy is a football player in every sense of the word. He's tough and goes after the ball. He makes the tough catches. One handed catches, Sideline catches. He gets YAC with ease. He can play inside or outside. And once I saw the hit he laid on that CB from UNC I was sold. This guy will have a really positive impact this year. He is sure handed as evidenced by his setting the NCAA record for receptions. I'm excited to see this guy play. If you haven't checked him out please go see some of the guys highlights yourself. I'm calling him as pushing Roddy for second in yards this season.

No doubt, Hardy will be an upgrade over Harry Douglas --- although, I liked him a lot, especially in 2013 when he filled in for JJ and gained over a thousand receiving yds. that year.

Only thing I worry about is Hardy's size --- 6'0" and 188 lbs. Just hope he can take the punishment all those LBs are gonna be dishing out, over the middle. I wish him lots of luck, though --- he's gonna need it!

Edited by FalconJim
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I think it's weird that people are constantly talking about Hardy's physical limitations. He still has some incredible measurables in some aspects of his game. A 6.63 3-cone drill is godlike. 36.5" vertical leap is great, especially with him using every bit of it. He has mammoth 10" hands - seriously, there are very few humans with hands like he has. And his ability to go up and compete for the ball is not exaggerated. I saw plenty of websites that gave him a 2nd round grade and I considered him a late 2nd myself. In one of the deepest WR classes in recent memory (just look at how many went within the first 2 rounds). I'm treating him like a 4th rounder about as much as I'm treating Jarrett like a 5th rounder. He's just a great fit for the team and I love the way he plays. I don't see how someone can watch his full games against great competition and not see his talent.

Either way, offseason's the time of the year to be overly optimistic. I think Hardy has the skill to kill in the slot. Staying on the hype train until I have reason to get off, I'm not used to us taking so many players I like and I'm going to enjoy it. laugh.png

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I think it's weird that people are constantly talking about Hardy's physical limitations. He still has some incredible measurables in some aspects of his game. A 6.63 3-cone drill is godlike. 36.5" vertical leap is great, especially with him using every bit of it. He has mammoth 10" hands - seriously, there are very few humans with hands like he has. And his ability to go up and compete for the ball is not exaggerated. I saw plenty of websites that gave him a 2nd round grade and I considered him a late 2nd myself. In one of the deepest WR classes in recent memory (just look at how many went within the first 2 rounds). I'm treating him like a 4th rounder about as much as I'm treating Jarrett like a 5th rounder. He's just a great fit for the team and I love the way he plays. I don't see how someone can watch his full games against great competition and not see his talent.

Either way, offseason's the time of the year to be overly optimistic. I think Hardy has the skill to kill in the slot. Staying on the hype train until I have reason to get off, I'm not used to us taking so many players I like and I'm going to enjoy it. laugh.png

You and me, we were both selling Beasley back in January, now ALL these silly mofos are riding the train LMFAO ....laugh.png

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Wanna make a bet that he'll help this year? If you think he won't help for a year or two, you're mistaken, period. Barring injury I'll take that bet every day. He will be our 3rd WR most likely, most likely starting at slot while Hankerson backs up Roddy and Julio at the WR1 and WR2 slots.

Help? Sure, assuming he makes the team and stays healthy, he'll help some, just as any player is expected to contribute who makes the team.But IMHO he's not gonna produce HD numbers year 1, he's got too much to learn and needs to bulk up some.

I like the pick, just have more even tempered expectations for him in year 1.

Edited by Vandy
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You folks that put a big emphasis on Douglas' TD's are silly. It doesn't matter if a player gets into the end zone as long as he contributes to someone getting in.

Freeman only had one rushing TD last year but he contributed to someone scoring on drives.

I'll be satisfied with Hardy as long as he contributes to our offense, I don't care a bit how many TD's he personally scores as long as someone does on our drives. But then again I don't play fantasy football.

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As been stated he reminds me a lot of Darrius Johnson but bigger. He will be a good slot guy but I doubt in his rookie year he will be a HD. I think the Falcons still need someone to stretch the field besides J J. I hope Wynn and Reedy get fair looks. They can take the top off of defenses and allow J J, RW and Hardy to flourish. But the numbers may not allow the Falcons that luxury. From looking at Hardy's film he would have been good in former OC Dirk K. short passing game.

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I think it's weird that people are constantly talking about Hardy's physical limitations. He still has some incredible measurables in some aspects of his game. A 6.63 3-cone drill is godlike. 36.5" vertical leap is great, especially with him using every bit of it. He has mammoth 10" hands - seriously, there are very few humans with hands like he has. And his ability to go up and compete for the ball is not exaggerated. I saw plenty of websites that gave him a 2nd round grade and I considered him a late 2nd myself. In one of the deepest WR classes in recent memory (just look at how many went within the first 2 rounds). I'm treating him like a 4th rounder about as much as I'm treating Jarrett like a 5th rounder. He's just a great fit for the team and I love the way he plays. I don't see how someone can watch his full games against great competition and not see his talent.

Either way, offseason's the time of the year to be overly optimistic. I think Hardy has the skill to kill in the slot. Staying on the hype train until I have reason to get off, I'm not used to us taking so many players I like and I'm going to enjoy it. laugh.png

Nice post FalconMoore. To further your point, Gil Brandt feels the same way about our young slot receiver...

http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap3000000492509/article/bryce-petty-david-cobb-among-impact-players-drafted-on-day-3

Bryce Petty, David Cobb among impact players drafted on Day 3
  • gil_brandt-110726_65.jpg
  • By Gil Brandt

With rookie minicamp season now upon us, it's worth remembering that someone somewhere will emerge as a Day 3 gem.

It seems to happen every year: A player selected in Round 4 or later will prove himself to be capable of taking on a big role on the field. Think of Redskins running back Alfred Morris (drafted in Round 6, No. 173 overall in 2012) or Steelers receiver Antonio Brown (Round 6, No. 195 overall in 2010) or even much of the Seahawks' Legion of Boom (Kam Chancellor was selected in Round 5, No. 133 overall, in 2010; Richard Sherman was picked in Round 5, No. 154 overall, in 2011).

Who will be this year's late-round star? Below are 10 players -- listed in alphabetical order -- who have what it takes to make an impact despite being selected on the last day of the draft:

David Cobb, RB, Tennessee Titans

Drafted out of Minnesota in Round 5, No. 138 overall.

Cobb (5-foot-11, 229 pounds) has excellent size for the position, along with very good instincts. He squares his shoulders and has great vision; he's an inside runner in the style of Emmitt Smith. I think he has a chance to make some noise in Tennessee's backfield and provide a real running threat for aTitans team that needs it. Cobb is starter material, capable of being a 1,000-yard back.

A.J. Derby, TE, New England Patriots

Drafted out of Arkansas in Round 6, No. 202 overall.

The former quarterback -- who started his college career at Iowa, then played for Coffeyville Community College before landing in Arkansas, where he converted to tight end last season -- will line up all over the field for New England. He will block, but he also has tons of upside, thanks to his athletic ability and speed. He's the kind of guy Bill Belichick likes to shift around and use as the H-back, as a wide receiver and as a tight end. Of course, Derby won't beat out Rob Gronkowski, but he could pushTimothy Wright as a spot player this season. The Pats develop players pretty quickly, and Derby could be making a splash as soon as 2016.

Marcus Hardison, DE, Cincinnati Bengals

Drafted out of Arizona State in Round 4, No. 135 overall.

I had Hardison ranked No. 101 heading into the draft, meaning I thought he was good enough to go around the end of the third round -- and I still think that's true. The former high school quarterback and junior college transfer broke out last season with 10 sacks, two interceptions and three forced fumbles. He's a strong (27 bench reps at the combine), well-built, outstanding athlete and has great quickness off the ball. Hardison is still learning to play his position, but he has a good future on a team that needs help rushing the passer.

Justin Hardy, WR, Atlanta Falcons

Drafted out of East Carolina in Round 4, No. 107 overall.

This is a Steve Largent-type receiver -- he's not going to catch the ball 70 yards downfield, but he isgoing to make catches across the middle. He has soft hands, probably the best in the draft. He makes up for his lack of speed with his exceptional change-of-direction ability (he ran the three-cone drill in 6.63 seconds at the NFL Scouting Combine, the fastest among receivers and the second-fastest overall). He's very competitive and was well-coached, and I think he has a chance to catch a bunch of passes in Atlanta this year. He has a knack for going to the right spot on the field at the right time and will catch everything thrown his way

.

Jarvis Harrison, OG, New York Jets

Drafted out of Texas A&M in Round 5, No. 152 overall.

Part of a great Jets draft class, Harrison is an athletic, strong, wide-bodied player who can really move around. Some -- like the AFC scouting director quoted in his draft profile on NFL.com -- are worried about his work ethic, but I think his problem is that he doesn't realize how good he can be. I couldn't believe how well he blocks people. If his mind is straight, he can be a long-time starter for New York -- beginning in 2015.

Jeremy Langford, RB, Chicago Bears

Drafted out of Michigan State in Round 4, No. 106 overall.

Matt Forte is racking up the mileage, and new Chicago coach John Fox loves to run the ball, so there should be plenty of opportunity for Langford to make his mark. Working in Langford's favor is the fact that he did not have a lot of carries -- or absorb a lot of hits -- at Michigan State, with <a data-ipb="nomediaparse" data-cke-saved-href="http://www.nfl.com/player/le"href="http://www.nfl.com/player/le" veonbell="" 2540175="" profile"="">Le'Veon Bell dominating in Langford's first two seasons there. In fact, Langford was such a good athlete that the Spartans played him at defensive back and receiver during that time rather than waste him behind Bell. He's strong, tough and fast; he posted a 4.42-second 40-yard dash at the combine, including an astounding 1.50-second 10-yard split. He can handle all three downs and should be a good fit in the Bears' offense.

Vince Mayle, WR, Cleveland Browns

Drafted out of Washington State in Round 4, No. 123 overall.

Mayle should get a chance to shine with the Browns, as the receiver depth chart in Cleveland is not especially imposing. The former junior college basketball player lacks experience -- but that didn't stop him from setting a single-season receiving record at Washington State with 1,483 yards in 2014. He doesn't have great speed, but he's an ascendant player who definitely has room to mature as a receiver. I hate to compare anyone to a Hall of Famer, but he reminds me of Michael Irvin, who was not the fastest but presented a great threat on the field.

Tre McBride, WR, Tennessee Titans

Drafted out of William & Mary in Round 7, No. 245 overall.

He needs a lot of work, but he's very talented -- honestly, I thought he'd have been picked higher. McBride makes very good adjustments to the ball in the air. He has long arms but average-sized hands and must continue to learn the art of route running. He had a 1.49-second 10-yard split and posted a 6.96-second three-cone. McBride loves the game and will compete; he can also return kicks. He's also going to the ideal team; no Titans receiver even sniffed the 1,000-yard mark last season.

Bryce Petty, QB, New York Jets

Drafted out of Baylor in Round 4, No. 103 overall.

Petty was one of the most talked-about players in the draft. Some observers questioned whether the quarterback would succeed in the NFL, while others raved about his athletic ability, arm strength and intelligence. Petty played hurt for much of 2014, but he showed what he could do in the Cotton Bowl against Michigan State, racking up 550 yards and posting a 71 percent completion rate. He has tons of natural talent. That said, he must improve on some things -- he was sacked 22 times last season, and he needs to get more air under the ball for deep throws -- but he'll work on that. Petty has a great chance to succeed in New York, should he find himself on the field -- especially with Chan Gailey, who is a patient and effective teacher, as the Jets' offensive coordinator.

Jake Ryan, OLB, Green Bay Packers

Drafted out of Michigan in Round 4, No. 129 overall.

The four-year starter and five-year player at Michigan is yet another solidly drafted player by thePackers. Ryan finished 2014 with 112 tackles. He's a guy who can play both inside linebacker -- where departed veteran A.J. Hawk played -- and strong-side 'backer for Green Bay. He's very tough, very competitive and has lots of upside. I think he could start for the Packers this season.

Follow Gil Brandt on Twitter @Gil_Brandt.

Edited by HASHBROWN3
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That's pretty debatable, HD wasnt special

lol hd was very good for being a #3.

I dnt get all the negative light he gets on this board.. yea he isnt the best slot guy, yes he may not have blew up the position like we all had hoped for.

But lets keep in mind he had two all pros in front of him grabbing 2500 plus yds a yr.

He made most of the plays when his number was called.. he got 1000yds when he HAD to be the guy.

Name another slot guy who did that.

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I think it's weird that people are constantly talking about Hardy's physical limitations. He still has some incredible measurables in some aspects of his game. A 6.63 3-cone drill is godlike. 36.5" vertical leap is great, especially with him using every bit of it. He has mammoth 10" hands - seriously, there are very few humans with hands like he has. And his ability to go up and compete for the ball is not exaggerated. I saw plenty of websites that gave him a 2nd round grade and I considered him a late 2nd myself. In one of the deepest WR classes in recent memory (just look at how many went within the first 2 rounds). I'm treating him like a 4th rounder about as much as I'm treating Jarrett like a 5th rounder. He's just a great fit for the team and I love the way he plays. I don't see how someone can watch his full games against great competition and not see his talent.

Either way, offseason's the time of the year to be overly optimistic. I think Hardy has the skill to kill in the slot. Staying on the hype train until I have reason to get off, I'm not used to us taking so many players I like and I'm going to enjoy it. laugh.png

It's because he didn't run a 4.3 or have a 40 inch vert that they don't like him. He's got game speed and his agility is top tier, as shown by his 3-cone drill. That's route running. But the hands. Oh the hands. That's the thing that always stuck out to me when watching him. It's all hands.

I'm right there with you driving the Hardy train.

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lol hd was very good for being a #3.

I dnt get all the negative light he gets on this board.. yea he isnt the best slot guy, yes he may not have blew up the position like we all had hoped for.

But lets keep in mind he had two all pros in front of him grabbing 2500 plus yds a yr.

He made most of the plays when his number was called.. he got 1000yds when he HAD to be the guy.

Name another slot guy who did that.

the only knock people legitimately have against HD is lack of TDs. and for a good while he had 3 All-Pros ahead of him

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It's because he didn't run a 4.3 or have a 40 inch vert that they don't like him. He's got game speed and his agility is top tier, as shown by his 3-cone drill. That's route running. But the hands. Oh the hands. That's the thing that always stuck out to me when watching him. It's all hands.

I'm right there with you driving the Hardy train.

With Julio and Roddy on the outside Hardy looks like a great option to work underneath.

My concern is not is combine numbers since he is a slot guy.

The scouting reports I've seen indicate he may struggle catching contested passes and creating separation.

If so it will take time to adjust to the NFL game corners are much more physical.

On the positive I've read he is a high character guy, works hard and plays with a chip being a college walk on.

All good traits to be successful.

Here's one decent scouting report I found.

http://www.buffalobillsdraft.com/2015/01/2015-nfl-draft-prospect-to-watch-justin-hardy-wr-east-carolina/

Edited by insight
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With Julio and Roddy on the outside Hardy looks like a great option to work underneath.

My concern is not is combine numbers since he is a slot guy.

The scouting reports I've seen indicate he may struggle catching contested passes and creating separation.

If so it will take time to adjust to the NFL game corners are much more physical.

On the positive I've read he is a high character guy, works hard and plays with a chip being a college walk on.

All good traits to be successful.

Here's one decent scouting report I found.

http://www.buffalobillsdraft.com/2015/01/2015-nfl-draft-prospect-to-watch-justin-hardy-wr-east-carolina/

Since his change of direction skills and ability to find open areas are exceptional, I would venture to say he will capitalize with our awesome receiver's coach and have ample opportunity given the fact that a whole lot of attention will be given to Jj & Rw... He's in a great spot. Not to mention if we develop a running game. Edited by HASHBROWN3
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With Julio and Roddy on the outside Hardy looks like a great option to work underneath.

My concern is not is combine numbers since he is a slot guy.

The scouting reports I've seen indicate he may struggle catching contested passes and creating separation.

If so it will take time to adjust to the NFL game corners are much more physical.

On the positive I've read he is a high character guy, works hard and plays with a chip being a college walk on.

All good traits to be successful.

Here's one decent scouting report I found.

http://www.buffalobillsdraft.com/2015/01/2015-nfl-draft-prospect-to-watch-justin-hardy-wr-east-carolina/

I agree with him struggling to create separation, runs great routes but not fast out of his breaks, not at all with catching contested passes or being physical enough. Good there. Just wary of whether his game speed will be good enough for him to be "Roddy's replacement" like many are saying. Love him in the slot though. It's where most mismatches are created and he can definitely exploit that.

the only knock people legitimately have against HD is lack of TDs. and for a good while he had 3 All-Pros ahead of him

Not really true. I felt like a lot of times he didn't really compete for the ball, gave up on some routes, rounded off routes, etc. He alternated between very clutch and unclutch, made some very good catches and had generally reliable hands...think that was skewed by how he didn't always compete for the ball though, like I said. Can anyone show me him making contested catches? Awful blocker too. Solid depth, just not my type of guy I guess.

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You folks that put a big emphasis on Douglas' TD's are silly. It doesn't matter if a player gets into the end zone as long as he contributes to someone getting in.

Freeman only had one rushing TD last year but he contributed to someone scoring on drives.

I'll be satisfied with Hardy as long as he contributes to our offense, I don't care a bit how many TD's he personally scores as long as someone does on our drives. But then again I don't play fantasy football.

Its actually the opposite. Points win games, not yards. Not that HD was good at getting yards either

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With Julio and Roddy on the outside Hardy looks like a great option to work underneath.

My concern is not is combine numbers since he is a slot guy.

The scouting reports I've seen indicate he may struggle catching contested passes and creating separation.

If so it will take time to adjust to the NFL game corners are much more physical.

On the positive I've read he is a high character guy, works hard and plays with a chip being a college walk on.

All good traits to be successful.

Here's one decent scouting report I found.

http://www.buffalobillsdraft.com/2015/01/2015-nfl-draft-prospect-to-watch-justin-hardy-wr-east-carolina/

I don't agree with those "flaws" of contested passes and separation. They said the same about ODB. Those scouting reports basically put that if you don't win 50/50 balls like Dez Bryant or Megatron. His route running is good as long as he isn't trying to beat a jam. Slot is perfect because he's rarely on the ball for a jammed release.

I think he's a career slot guy but I don't think that's a bad thing.

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