News just broke that the New York Jets have signed free agent wide receiver, Mecole Hardman. He spent the first four years of his career with the Kansas City Chiefs as a second-round pick in the 2019 NFL draft. This deal is reportedly for one year and worth up to $6.5 million.
Hardman is a very young player as he just turned 25 years old a week and a half ago. He is 5-foot-10 and 187 pounds. Hardman is obviously well-known by most for his incredible speed. In the 2019 pre-draft process, he ran a blazing 4.33 40-yard dash with a 1.54 10-yard split time.
Throughout his four-year career in the NFL, Hardman has played in 57 games. He did not miss a game in his first three years. Last year, though, an abdomen injury led to him playing in just eight games.
Over the course of his career, Hardman has 220 targets (55 per year), 151 catches (37.8 per year), 2,088 yards (522 per year), and 16 touchdowns (four per year). He has a good career catch rate of 68.6%. To boot, Hardman has 20 career rushing attempts, 125 yards (6.3 per carry), and two touchdowns.
In terms of receptions, Hardman’s best season came in 2021, when he caught 59 passes. That year, he also posted his career-best for receiving yards, with 693. He also recorded over 500 receiving yards in each of his first two years as well. Hardman’s best year when it comes to touchdowns was as a rookie in 2019, when he had six. Hardman posted four receiving scores in both 2020 and 2022 as well.
New York Jets add versatile and electrifying WR Mecole Hardman:
Hardman will offer the Jets a ton with his speed and ability with the football in his hands. Whether it be on offense or special teams, Hardman presents the Jets with tons of big-play threat ability.
His speed offensively can help the Jets down the field as a vertical presence. He can also contribute in a gadget role taking screens and jet sweeps. Though, his role is sure to increase past jet sweeps in New York.
Hardman expressed his desire to be more involved with the gameplan to Jordan Schultz, saying, “So it’s like, I know I can do some things when I get targets, you know what I’m saying? So maybe getting more of a role, I can get that consistently throughout a year and see what it leads to.”
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After parting ways with former first-team All-Pro kick returner Braxton Berrios, the Jets had a need for a returner. Hardman can take on that role for the Jets. He has 62 career punt returns (nine yards per return) with a touchdown and a longest return of 67 yards. As a kick returner, Hardman was incredible as a rookie with 27 returns for 704 yards (26.1 yards per return) with a long of 104 yards that went for a touchdown.
This Hardman addition is a very exciting one for the Jets. They needed depth at wide receiver and a new returner on special teams. Hardman is very young, has a ton of speed to generate explosives, and versatility with his usage in the gadget game and on special teams for the Jets.