Why Mecole Hardman is a perfect fit for the NY Jets

NY Jets, Mecole Hardman
NY Jets, Mecole Hardman / Cooper Neill/GettyImages

On a day when it was announced that the NY Jets would be trading wide receiver Elijah Moore to the Cleveland Browns, it was also revealed that the Jets were signing another wide receiver, Mecole Hardman. Hardman is a perfect fit for the Jets, and this signing could prove to be one of the team's best of the entire offseason.

Hardman was drafted in the second round of the 2019 NFL Draft by the Kansas City Chiefs. In his rookie year, he finished with 26 receptions for 538 yards, averaged, 20.7 yards per reception, and managed to score six touchdowns.

Hardman would quickly become a regular contributor in the Chiefs' offense, at least until this past season. Unfortunately, Hardman was only able to play eight games last year as he would get hurt in Week 9 and land on the injured reserve.

Hardman would make his return in the AFC Championship Game where he would, unfortunately, pick up another abdominal injury and miss out on playing in the Super Bowl.

Hardman's best year to this point came back in 2021 when he finished the year with 59 receptions for 693 yards while tallying a pair of touchdowns. The former Georgia standout also got to work a lot on the ground as well, tallying eight rushing attempts for 46 yards.

However, one of the most important things to remember about Hardman is that the numbers don't tell the whole story.

Mecole Hardman could become an important part of the NY Jets' offense

Hardman is one of the better depth receivers in the NFL today. He is a great replacement, and most would even say an upgrade, over Braxton Berrios on both offense and special teams.

Hardman is one of the fastest players in the entire league. He's a genuine downfield threat who can take the top off defenses and pair well with Aaron Rodgers in 2023.

While he may be a smaller receiver, Hardman can beat a lot of defenders with his speed alone. According to NFL Next Gen Stats, Hardman has reached a top speed of 21.87 mph. He also ran a blazing 4.33 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine.

Hardman does his best work in the slot, but he's a true chess piece on offense, and could also double as the team's new return specialist.

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With the pending addition of Rodgers, it looks like the Jets are continuing to build around the future Hall of Fame quarterback. The Jets are clearly not done making moves, but the addition of Hardman could go down to be one of the more underrated signings of the offseason.