Mecole Hardman is a perfect fit for the Baltimore Ravens. His combination of play speed, quickness, versatility and toughness align with the Ravens needs on offense and special teams. Let’s see what his tape shows us:
Mecole Hardman Corner-Post “Copper” route:— Brad Kelly (@BradKelly17) March 28, 2019
▪️Move the DB by threatening space towards the sideline
▪️Sell the corner route with eyes
▪️Accelerate through vertical cut
Key - Stay light on your feet throughout double move ‼️#NFLDraft pic.twitter.com/zMC7KEcxXx
Mecole Hardman gets things going for the Bulldogs. pic.twitter.com/u4voQsdwFd— SEConCBS (@SEConCBS) November 3, 2018
Hardman has many positives to his game:
- Can play in the slot or outside.
- Quick with good enough strength (17 bench reps) to beat press coverage
- Creates huge separation on underneath, intermediate and deep routes
- Performed in big games, scoring touchdowns in SEC Championship and National Championship games
- Double move connoisseur
- Elite tracking ability
- Scary ability as a gunner and returner on special teams
- Excels taking jet sweeps/screens and converting them into first downs/touchdowns
- Runs through contact at an incredibly high speed, breaking alarming amounts of tackles for his size
- Sudden in underneath routes to open up throwing lanes
- Outstanding vision
- Works back to the quarterback
- Uses the sideline well
- Great body control
- Willing blocker
- 5’10’’ 187 pound frame is big enough to absorb contact for his play style
Hardman needs to work on:
- Hand strength/securing catches
- Playing through the whistle
- Contested catches
- Becoming an every down player
Hardman’s combine numbers were shocking:
- 4.31s forty-time
- 1.48 ten-yard split
- 36 inch vertical
- 17 reps of 225
Mecole Hardman is around the same size as many of the NFL’s leading receivers including Antonio Brown, Stefon Diggs, Tyreek Hill, T.Y. Hilton, Brandin Cooks and Odell Beckham Jr. His size, speed, and quickness would present problems for bigger corners.
Hardman was a high-school quarterback, and is still learning the receiver position. With that being considered, his ceiling is considerably higher as a pro than in college. He managed to find the end zone once every 4.6 plays, scoring 13 touchdowns on only 60 touches. He also managed 1,467 return yards on only 74 returns.
Mecole would be valuable in the Ravens’ offense, and would be able to take the top off, consistently winning 1-on-1 on the outside or in the slot. If the box is stacked, Hardman will score at a freakishly high rate if Lamar Jackson is able to get the ball in his hands deep.
Greg Roman would love to have him for jet sweeps/screens which are a prominent feature in his offensive game plan. Many pundits predict that Mecole will be available in the third round.
University of Georgia playmakers have excelled at the NFL level, and Hardman should follow suit. He projects somewhere between Seattle Seahawks’ Tyler Lockett and Kansas City Chiefs’ Tyreek Hill. If the Ravens are able to secure Hardman with the 85th pick, they won’t regret it.