On Wednesday, the Kansas City Chiefs sent a 2025 sixth-round pick for Micole Hardman and a 2025 seventh-round pick. What does his inclusion into the offense mean for some of the Chiefs other wide receivers?
In the NFL the grass isn’t always greener in other places. First Frank Clark, negotiated his way out of Denver and could land in a Kansas City Chiefs uniform at some point this week or next. Though that might be the case for Clark, it’s not the case for Mecole Hardman. After signing a one-year contract with the New York Jets in free agency, he was traded to the Kansas City Chiefs on Tuesday for a swap of 2025 draft picks.
The move is a bit shocking, especially when you consider Head Coach Andy Reid, indicated the elbow injury to Justin Watson was a contusion and not a dislocated elbow, reducing his recovery time, the addition of Hardman creates a log jam at receiver and the return game.
It’s no secret the Chiefs receivers have struggled to find their footing in the offense. Still, the addition of Hardman into the mix means either Skyy Moore or Justin Ross will see fewer reps in certain packages. In the return game, Montrell Washington has been stellar in fielding kick-offs and punts since taking over for the injured, Richie James.
So how can Hardman help the Chiefs?
He would become the only Chiefs receiver with breakaway speed. Though he continues to struggle in route running, there’s no doubt he can excel in Jet Sweeps and run like the wind downfield to open up the middle routes where Kansas City can exploit opposing defenses. In other words, he’s a solid decoy who can also make plays.
Still based on how the two parted ways, the Chiefs probably felt he was the best option. Yes, he is familiar with Patrick Mahomes, the two had success in Kansas City, and his learning curve should give him the edge over other trade targets for the Chiefs.
The question now falls on Hardman to make the most of this second chance. The Jets never utilized his skillset, and that could be for a variety of reasons. Just because you have world-class speed, doesn’t make you a consistent wide receiver. However, the Jets offense and the Chiefs offense are vastly different.
Head Coach, Andy Reid would be wise to draw up plays that feature Hardman’s abilities that can turn a simple play design into bigger chunks of yards. If Hardman embraces this opportunity, something I suspect will happen, he can help KC’s offense advance the ball. Plus with his speed, he should be able to open some of the field in the red zone where the Chiefs have struggled to score touchdowns.
If Hardman is activated for Sunday’s game against the Los Angeles Chargers, the Chiefs must make a roster move. We already know per the head coach, Watson is not going to IR so that means Kansas City might look to thin another position on the roster.
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