After four seasons with the Kansas City Chiefs, Mecole Hardman found himself on the free-agent market for the first time in his career. In late March, it was announced that Hardman found himself a new home, and instead of donning a red and white jersey, he will be wearing green for the NY Jets.
Hardman put together some solid seasons during his time with the Chiefs. His best year offensively came in 2021, when he picked up a career-high in receptions with 59 and receiving yards with 693, despite only recording a pair of touchdowns.
Mecole Hardman is the dark horse for the NY Jets in 2023
While Hardman may not have put up monster numbers in Kansas City, fans should not underestimate Hardman. Hardman will likely be the starting slot receiver for the Jets, with Garrett Wilson and Allen Lazard as the primary outside receivers. This could see a larger role for Hardman.
Hardman goes from one great quarterback in Patrick Mahomes to another Hall-of-Fame-caliber quarterback in Aaron Rodgers. Lazard has experience in the slot but does his best work as a big-bodied outside receiver.
With the speed that Hardman possesses, expect Rodgers to be looking for him a lot this season. According to NFL Next Gen Stats, Hardman has reached a top speed of 21.87 mph. He also registered an impressive time on his 40-yard dash, getting it done in 4.33 seconds at the NFL Combine.
Despite his small size, the speed Hardman possesses will be dangerous to opposing defenses. Hardman will serve as an excellent replacement, and likely upgrade, over Braxton Berrios on both offense and special teams.
Hardman could very well be a dark horse candidate for the Jets this season. Hardman could prove to be one of the best signings of the offseason for Gang Green.