Senior Bowl Spotlight: Justin Hardy, WR Eastern Carolina University – 2015 NFL Draft

Justin Hardy Invite
Height: 6’0″
Weight: 188 lbs
40 yard dash: 4.49 (projected)

NFL Comparison: Jeremy Maclin

Scouting Notes:

A walk-on at ECU, Hardy underwhelmed as a 160-pound QB and came out on the other end surprising everyone but himself as a 188-pound WR who broke the FBS record for college career receptions (355). That kind of record can be taken with a grain of salt, as you’ve probably only heard of one guy (Ryan Broyles) in the Top 5 of that list- and you (unfortunately for Broyles) haven’t heard much of him since. But Hardy isn’t likely to fade into obscurity anytime soon. A hands catcher who clearly runs precise routes on a regular basis, the lean-bodied Hardy has very few weak points in his game. His stance is a little wide-legged coming out of the gate, which can make it a little harder to come off the line of scrimmage quickly, but that’s the kind of easily fixed issue that you see when trying to look for faults in Hardy’s game. Hardy can work as an inside, slant-running possession-type guy or move outside and catch bombs as the deep threat. With some bulk, he’ll be a solid tackle-breaker too. It’s easy to tell by his movements in space and current better-than-average shedding ability that Hardy’s poised to be a YAC monster with continued development and seasoning in an NFL locker room.

Fantasy Outlook:

Hardy won’t be given anything in the NFL, as he’s not a physical specimen. He doesn’t have blazing speed. Hardy does have indefatigable work ethic though, and he’s accustomed to earning his role. A slow start shouldn’t shake his resolve, but lack of opportunity might. Here’s to hoping someone gives him a decent chance on the next level. He could quickly grow into a productive asset for a team short on raw talent. At this early point, we’d be comfortable taking Hardy in the fourth round of rookie dynasty drafts (he should not be going undrafted), but as with most of these athletes, the Senior Bowl and draft process will mean quite a bit and the situation that they eventually fall to will be, of course, paramount in judging what their rookie impact could and will be.

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