*WR grades can and will change as more information comes in from Pro Day workouts, Wonderlic test results leaked, etc. We will update ratings as new info becomes available.

*WR-B stands for "Big-WR," a classification we use to separate the more physical, downfield/over-the-top, heavy-red-zone-threat-type WRs. Our WR-S/"Small-WRs" are profiled by our computer more as slot and/or possession-type WRs who are typically less physical and rely more on speed/agility to operate underneath the defense and/or use big speed to get open deep...they are not used as weapons in the red zone as much. 


I wasn’t planning on taking a deeper look Mecole Hardman, beyond our computer scouting model grades and some preview tape, but then the Chiefs might have lost Tyreek Hill for good about an hour before the NFL Draft started, which forced their hands to address the WR position in day two of the NFL Draft…trading up and taking Hardman ahead of draft projections. 

I didn’t feel the need to dig in deeper -- mediocre grades in our system, my preview of his tape watching of him was left lacking/was just ‘OK’, and ‘he’s fast’…there are lots of ‘fast’, skinny WR prospects…Hardman didn’t stand out among them. 

Now, the Chiefs have invested in him as an obvious Tyreek insurance plan. Rumors have it the Jets were trying trade up for him. There’s suddenly a lot of smoke around Hardman…I need to see if I missed the fire, because I didn’t sense it pre-draft.

This is my third time looking over Hardman’s profile, and watching his tape…only with more intensity this time. More games watched, routes and targets logged; looking at him with a microscope. Three times watching…and three times that I just don’t see any ‘it’. 

Here’s the best way I can explain my scouting feelings on Hardman…

When Tyreek Hill was an NFL Draft prospect, he was a little/fast guy with weak performance numbers and a checkered past. Nothing really drew me to him to look deeper. The moment I saw Hill in his rookie preseason, my mind was blown. His movement skills absolutely leap off the screen…I’d never seen anything like it. I still worried that he’d be pigeonholed as a ‘return guy’. As soon as I saw him get a few touches in the preseason and then early rookie regular season I was sounding an alarm for everyone to grab him to have their dynasty/fantasy football futures changed. Not too soon after, Hill was noticed by the masses, but they still thought he was a gimmick and undervalued him for two years…until the 2018 season finally shut them all up once and for all. 

Point being…the first time I really watched Hill in action against NFL athletes, I knew ‘it’ when I saw ‘it’. When I see ‘it’, I’m rarely wrong. If you’ve been with me for a while – you know this. I’m not saying it for applause, just for context…I see ‘it’ and people should take heed. 

I don’t see ‘it’ with Hardman. Oh, how I want to. The story writes itself…Hill cut (maybe), Hardman slips in and is just like Tyreek. Sorry, Hardman is not close to Tyreek. Not that he’s bad…but he’s not Tyreek. There are a lot of ‘not Tyreek’ fast guys in the NFL, and ones just entering, and many to come. Hardman is one of them.

He’s definitely fast and shifty, but not like ‘wow’. Cameron Batson has better speed-agility profile than Hardman coming out of college last year…but you may have to take a moment to remember what team Batson was on in college, is on now in the NFL, and whether he was drafted at all (4.35 40-time, 6.69 three-cone at his Pro Day, undrafted Texas Tech, now of the Titans…forcing his way onto the roster last preseason). 

Cameron Batson is a better receiver, or as-good, as Hardman. Yet, no one cares about Batson…but love everything about Hardman. 

What do people really love about Hardman, because they didn’t as much before the draft? They love that he might fill Tyreek’s role. How is that a key attribute for Hardman? They may think because the Jets were rumored to want him that he was in hot demand – who cares if the Jets are pursuing you…did you see their last several drafts under that GM? Embarrassing.  

Had Hardman been drafted by the Jaguars or Buccaneers, etc., in the 3rd-round…no one would give a $#!%. But a desperate Chiefs team reaches for the fast guy to replace Tyreek, and we want to assign Tyreek powers to him. He’s not Tyreek. He’s barely a DeSean Jackson. 

I was desperate to see a glimpse of something great on tape, I couldn’t find it…besides ‘fast’ (like regular old ‘fast’). Hardman barely mattered in the Georgia passing game. Did you know he had one 100+ yard receiving game in 33 college games? This blazing supernova got past 80+ receiving yards in a single game ONE time…and we’re supposed to get excited about that?  

Tyreek Hill combined for 100+ yards rushing and receiving in his debut game as a freshman against (then good) Florida State. He combined for 100+ yards three times in his first 9 college games (soon to be booted from the program after that). Hardman combined for 100+ yards twice in his entire career. Hill returned a kick and a punt for a TD as a freshman…Hardman one punt return TD in his career, against Middle Tennessee State. Hill was an RB-WR weapon/freak. Hardman was strictly a WR who got a few jets sweeps and wildcats here and there. 

Hardman is absolutely nothing like Hill, except Hardman is pretty fast…while Hill is elite fast-agile. 

I didn’t see any great routes or wonderful displays of ‘hands’ on Hardman’s tape. Just a lot of sprinting deep and occasionally the QB might hit him for a big play…but it was rare – 0 to 2 catches in a game in nine of his 14 games in 2018. This is an elite weapon? 

Rarely would you find Hardman used for bubble screens…that’s a troubling red flag. When he was, he wasn’t breaking them off for big plays (which is why he probably didn’t get many). When he sprinted deep for pass plays, he rarely was so wide open that he could throw the peace sign back to the defender…again, he barely got 50+ yards in games his whole career. I saw no signs of some amazing game breaker. 

Hardman is a nice young man. Pleasant, humble, and an occasional honor roll student. He has some NFL talent…but it’s nothing like Tyreek. It’s almost an unfair label that will undermine his career from the jump. 


Mecole Hardman, Through the Lens of Our WR Scouting Algorithm:

0-to-3 catches in a game in 23 of his 29 games as a starter. This is not future star material.

50 or less yards receiving in a game 21 of his 29 college starts. If he’s so fast…why isn’t his college resume littered with great plays/impressive feats of speed?

I think Hardman is living off his 2017 CFB title game where he had two TDs vs. Alabama, but it was lucky strike 80-yard TD (rare for him) and he had one other catch for zero yards in that game…plus a short TD run near the goal line on a wildcat. Big deal. 

Played in the SEC title game (vs. Alabama) and then his bowl game vs. Texas to finish his career in 2018…his per game numbers in those two games: 1.5 catches, 12.0 yards, 0.5 TDs, 0 rushes for 0 yards. This is the next Tyreek Hill?

NFL Combine/Pro Day Measurables…

5’10.2”/183, 9.0” hands/30.25” arms

4.33 40-time, 2.57 20-yard, 1.54 10-yard

4.25 shuttle, 6.75 three-cone (Pro Day)

17 bench reps, 36.5” vertical, 9’11” broad jump

The Historical WR Prospects to Whom Mecole Hardman Most Compares Within Our System:

Lesser Phillip Dorsett…no truer words spoken, and that should scare everybody who is trying to get super-high/’next Tyreek’ on him. 


WR Score

Draft Yr.







Power Strngth Metric

Speed Agility Metric

Hands Metric
















Miami, Fla






















Fresno State











Ab. Christian







*A score of 7.0+ is where we start to take a Small-WR prospect more seriously. A score of 8.50+ is where we see a stronger correlation of a Small-WR going on to become NFL good/great/elite. A score of 10.00+ is more rarefied air in our system and indicates a greater probability of becoming an elite NFL Small-WR.

All of the WR ratings are based on a 0–10 scale, but a player can score negative, or above a 10.0 in certain instances.

Overall WR score = A combination of several on-field performance measures, including refinement for strength of opponents faced, mixed with all the physical measurement metrics,and rated historically in our database.

“Power-Strength” = A combination of unique metrics surrounding physical size profiling, bench press strength, etc.  High scorers here project to be more physical, better blockers, and less injury-prone.

“Speed-Agility” = A combination of unique metrics surrounding speed, agility, physical size, mixed with some on-field performance metrics. High scorers here project to have a better YAC and show characteristics to be used as deep threats/to create separation.

“Hands” = A combination of unique metrics surrounding on-field performance in college, considering the strength of opponents played. Furthermore, this data considers some physical profiling for hand size, etc. High scorers here have a better track record of college statistical performance. Everything combining to project catch-abilities for the next level.

2019 NFL Draft Outlook:

He was drafted in the last 2nd-round. I would have guessed 3rd-round…and only that high because I know NFL teams think a 4.3+ 40-time is magical, and whether the player can really play the position is irrelevant. 

If I were an NFL GM, I wouldn’t have wasted a top 100 draft pick on either Marquise Brown or Mecole Hardman. 

NFL Outlook:   

Here’s the one super-bright spot for Hardman…he may be a ‘C’ talent with speed, but he’s about to be jammed into a lineup in the Tyreek role working with Patrick Mahomes – a situation that can make a ‘C-D’ into a ‘B-C’ producer in an instant. 

Hardman should be productive, but because of Mahomes…because he’s otherwise limited as a receiver/talent. He’ll have a few speed-kills plays but over time, he’ll be seen as ‘OK’/not lived up to the Tyreek hype kinda weapon. Remember, when everyone was all jacked up for Phillip Dorsett? What about today on the super-speedy Dorsett? Not so much.