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Mecole Hardman

Kansas City Chiefs
Wide Receiver #4
Kansas City Chiefs
Wide Receiver #4
Photo: Icon Sportswire

Mecole Hardman News

Finds end zone in loss

Hardman secured three of four targets for 33 yards and a touchdown, rushed once for two yards and returned two punts for seven yards in the Chiefs' 30-24 loss to the Chargers on Sunday.

Analysis: Hardman salvaged an otherwise lackluster fantasy day with his eight-yard scoring grab in the fourth quarter. The third-year speedster has been relatively underwhelming in his No. 2 receiver role thus far, generating an 11-107 line and Sunday's touchdown through three contests. Hardman will look to build up his numbers in a Week 4 road matchup against the Eagles.

Sep 26, 2021 3:21 PM EST

55 yards on SNF

Hardman had five receptions (eight targets) for 55 yards in Sunday's 36-35 loss to the Ravens.

Analysis: Hardman saw a huge uptick in targets due to the Ravens constantly doubling Tyreek Hill for the majority of the contest. The 23-year-old could have had a much bigger fantasy impact if Patrick Mahomes didn't uncharacteristically overthrow him on a would-be deep touchdown in the first half. Hardman has the pure speed to put up some big numbers in a given week, but he remains behind both Hill and Travis Kelce in the pecking order, so there will be some inconsistency as the season progresses. The Chargers are up next for Hardman and the Chiefs next Sunday.

Sep 19, 2021 11:40 PM EST

Quiet in win

Hardman secured all three of his targets for 19 yards in Sunday's 33-29 win over the Browns.

Analysis: Hardman entered Week 1 as the No. 2 wide receiver starting opposite of Tyreek Hill. The 23-year-old did little with that role considering that Patrick Mahomes threw the ball 36 times in the contest. Hardman played on 69 percent of the Chiefs' offensive snaps, which was slightly behind fellow wideout Demarcus Robinson's 74 percent of snaps played. The 2019 second-round pick is an intriguing fantasy player based on his athletic ability and role as the second wide receiver in Kansas City, but it's hard to trust him in lineups until he proves that he can carve out a more prominent role in the Chiefs' high-flying offensive attack.

Sep 14, 2021 2:02 PM EST

Turns in full practice

Hardman (oblique) practiced fully Thursday.

Analysis: Hardman followed up Wednesday's limited session with a full practice Thursday, setting the stage for the 23-year-old to start opposite Tyreek Hill in Sunday's season opener against the Browns. With Sammy Watkins no longer in the mix and Patrick Mahomes as his QB, the door seems wide open for Hardman to improve on the 41/560/4 stat line that he logged in 2020.

Sep 9, 2021 3:20 PM EST

Limited with oblique injury

Hardman (oblique) was a limited practice participant Wednesday.

Analysis: Hardman made it through training camp healthy and played in all three preseason games, but it seems he's now nicked up with the opener against Cleveland just a few days away. He did play all 16 games in both of his first two NFL seasons, and there hasn't been any indication the oblique injury is serious. A return to full participation Thursday or Friday would clear all doubts as Hardman prepares for a larger role after Sammy Watkins' departure in the offseason.

Sep 8, 2021 3:07 PM EST

Gets rushing attempt

Hardman was not targeted but rushed once for eight yards in Friday night's 28-25 preseason win over the Vikings.

Analysis: Hardman saw the field with Kansas City's starters before Demarcus Robinson, furthering the notion that his role will be expanded this season following Sammy Watkins' departure. Although he wasn't targeted Friday, the Chiefs still managed to get the ball in Hardman's hands offensively, looking to capitalize on his blazing speed. In such an explosive offense, Hardman is one to watch ahead of the regular season, which will begin for him with a matchup against the Browns.

Aug 27, 2021 8:55 PM EST

Productive in preseason win

Hardman secured four of eight targets for 39 yards and a touchdown in the Chiefs' 17-10 preseason win over the Cardinals on Friday night.

Analysis: Hardman is heading into the regular season with the pressure of serving as a full-time starter for the first time in his career, but his performance Friday supported the notion he could be up to the task. The third-year speedster corralled a 17-yard touchdown pass from Chad Henne late in the first half, and he also recorded two receptions for 19 yards while working with Patrick Mahomes earlier in the contest. Hardman could be set for plenty of single coverage in the coming season with Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce sure to draw no shortage of defensive attention.

Aug 20, 2021 8:35 PM EST

Drops lone target

Hardman was targeted once during Saturday's 19-16 preseason win over the 49ers but dropped the pass.

Analysis: Hardman took the field with Patrick Mahomes and the starters on the opening drive. The third-year wideout was targeted on a short third down but dropped the pass. He and Mahomes didn't return to the field the rest of the night. The drop is concerning because Hardman recorded eight drops last season, and he'll need to clean that part of his game up if he wants to retain the No. 2 wideout job left behind by Sammy Watkins. The Chiefs' next preseason game is Friday against the Cardinals.

Aug 15, 2021 1:17 PM EST

Looking sharp this summer

Hardman displayed "sizable improvements" at June minicamp, according to Nate Taylor of The Athletic.

Analysis: The report points to route-running, hands and focus as three areas where the 23-year-old has improved, thereby strengthening his case to replace Sammy Watkins (Ravens) as the Chiefs' No. 2 wide receiver. With fifth-round pick Cornell Powell being the team's most noteworthy wideout addition this offseason, Hardman could end up playing more than three-quarters of the offensive snaps, after logging just 44.9 and 45.3 percent in his first two NFL seasons. Demarcus Robinson and Byron Pringle are the other candidates to handle the starting job across from Tyreek Hill, but neither Robinson nor Pringle figures to see many targets, regardless of the starter/reserve designation.

Jun 28, 2021 9:10 AM EST

Costly mistakes in Super Bowl loss

Hardman secured two of six targets for four yards during Kansas City's 31-9 loss to the Buccaneers in Super Bowl LV.

Analysis: Hardman was relatively productive in Kansas City's last two playoff games, with 58 receiving yards against the Browns and a score versus the Bills, but during Super Bowl LV he made a handful of impactful mistakes on both offense and special teams. The second-year wideout looked to be on a different page than Patrick Mahomes all night, and he failed to turn his head in time on two of the occasions that he was targeted in the first half. He also appeared to have been offsides while attempting to block a field goal. Hardman was considered a raw prospect when the Chiefs selected him in the second round of the 2019 NFL Draft, and with Sammy Watkins and Demarcus Robinson both scheduled for free agency the 22-year-old could be staring down increased opportunity for 2021, but at this point it's clear that Hardman still has a ways to go in his development. Through 16 regular season games in 2020, Hardman caught 41 of 62 targets for 560 yards and four scores.

Feb 7, 2021 8:29 PM EST

Finds paydirt in AFC title game

Hardman hauled in two of three targets for four yards and a touchdown and carried once for 50 yards Sunday in the Chiefs' 38-24 win over the Bills in the AFC Championship Game.

Analysis: Hardman put the Chiefs in a early hole after mishandling a punt in the first quarter, with the Bills recovering the fumble and proceeding to score a touchdown to take a 10-0 lead. The second-year wideout didn't take long to make amends, however, as he responded with a short touchdown reception of his own on the Chiefs' ensuing possession. He then provided one of the game's biggest plays on the Chiefs' next drive, showcasing his high-end speed on an end-around carry to set up another touchdown. Hardman surprisingly finished the day with a modest 35 percent offensive snap share -- well behind Byron Pringle (80 percent) and Demarcus Robinson (65 percent) -- but he was clearly the most productive of the Chiefs' depth wideouts. Hardman, Pringle and Robinson could all see some sort of role reduction in the Feb. 7 Super Bowl matchup with the Buccaneers, as Sammy Watkins (calf) is expected to be back for that contest after sitting out Week 17 as well as both of the Chiefs' first two playoff contests.

Jan 27, 2021 8:23 PM EST

Caps off disappointing season with minimal showing

Hardman reeled in both of his targets for 25 yards Sunday against the Chargers.

Analysis: Hardman finished out his regular season with 41 catches for 560 yards and four touchdowns on 62 targets. While that does represent gains in all but touchdowns, it wasn't quite the jump in production many were expecting heading into Hardman's sophomore season. It's possible that jump will come following another offseason, especially if Sammy Watkins and/or DeMarcus Robinson leave Kansas City via free agency this offseason, opening up a more consistent role in the offense. Even if he finds more snaps on offense, Hardman will need to contend with star targets Travis Kelce and Tyreek Hill for looks, which could factor into his production in future campaigns.

Jan 6, 2021 8:45 AM EST

Another mediocre showing

Hardman logged three catches for 24 yards on six targets and rushed once for 20 yards in Sunday's game versus the Falcons.

Analysis: On a positive note, Hardman sported his largest offensive snap count percentage (61) since his 68 percent mark back in Week 9 when Sammy Watkins was sidelined. That was likely the result of the Chiefs being in a tight one with the Falcons, though the second-year wideout could see a bit more action next week if the staff elects to hold out or limit the work of Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce to ensure their health for the postseason with the No. 1 seed in the AFC already locked up.

Dec 29, 2020 8:52 AM EST

Scores fourth TD in win

Hardman caught three of nine targets for 22 yards and a touchdown in Sunday's 32-29 win over the Saints, He also lost five yards on his only carry.

Analysis: While the second-year wideout didn't come down with many balls while tying his season high in target volume, Hardman cashed in when it mattered, getting his feet down in the back corner of the end zone on a five-yard toss from Patrick Mahomes midway through the third quarter. It's his first receiving TD since Week 8 and his fourth of the year, giving Hardman some momentum heading into Week 16's clash with a Falcons secondary that just got lit up by the Bucs.

Dec 20, 2020 7:35 PM EST

Scores as returner

Hardman reached the end zone on a punt return while also reeling in each of his three targets for another 40 yards Sunday versus the Dolphins.

Analysis: Hardman also coughed up a fumble while running into the Miami red zone, though the subsequent Dolphins drive resulted in a safety. The second-year wideout once again posted a snap count percentage in the low 30s, which seems unlikely to change as long as the full complement of receivers is available. He could regain some fantasy value next season if the Chiefs elect to part ways with Sammy Watkins and/or Demarcus Robinson.

Dec 15, 2020 8:41 AM EST

Another silent effort

Hardman hauled in one of his three targets for 15 yards during Sunday's contest versus the Broncos.

Analysis: Hardman logged 33 percent or fewer offensive snaps for a third straight week, with the first occurrence coming even while Sammy Watkins was still unavailable. At this point, he's droppable in most redraft formats and is simply a dynasty project with hopes of an expanded role next year, when both Watkins and Demarcus Robinson are set to see their contracts with the club expire.

Dec 8, 2020 9:03 AM EST

Falls flat against Bucs

Hardman compiled just three catches for 23 yards on just five targets Sunday versus the Buccaneers.

Analysis: While Hardman is likely still owned in many redraft leagues given the upside promised of him entering the season, but his results haven't backed up the hype outside of an outburst a few times. He's likely most viable as a stash in dynasty leagues with hopes of future promise given that Sammy Watkins and Demarcus Robinson are in the final years of their respective deals.

Dec 1, 2020 9:59 AM EST

Minimal production in return from COVID list

Hardman hauled in his lone target for 16 yards in Sunday's game versus the Raiders.

Analysis: Hardman notably saw a season-low 27 percent of the team's offensive snaps in Sunday's contest, though that may be the result of him being freshly off the COVID-19 list and not quite up to speed. Even if that's the case, the expected return of Sammy Watkins in Week 12 will limit his upside from a fantasy standpoint moving forward. At this point, he's likely spottily owned in many redraft formats while his primary value lies as a stash in dynasty leagues.

Nov 24, 2020 8:48 AM EST

Lifted from COVID-19 list

The Chiefs activated Hardman from the reserve/COVID-19 list Saturday.

Analysis: Hardman was placed on the list Nov. 11 and didn't practice with the team over the past two weeks as a result, but he's expected to return to the lineup for Sunday's game against the Raiders. Sammy Watkins (hamstring/calf) has been ruled out again, so Hardman and Demarcus Robinson could have an increased workload yet again.

Nov 21, 2020 1:09 PM EST

Remains absent from practice

Hardman (undisclosed) is still on the reserve/COVID-19 list and did not practice Wednesday, Herbie Teope of the Kansas City Star reports.

Analysis: The Chiefs placed Hardman on the COVID-19 list back on Nov. 11, and coming off the team's bye it appears that the second-year wideout still hasn't managed to attain full clearance. The speedster's status for Sunday's game in Las Vegas thus appears murky. Sammy Watkins (hamstring) resumed practicing without limitations Wednesday, so Hardman would stand to see a reduced snap share even if he does manage to return Week 11.

Nov 18, 2020 3:05 PM EST

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