It is Justin Hardy Time: Round 2


Justin Hardy did not hear his name called on day one of the NFL Draft. That will not be an issue for him in day two. The East Carolina standout became the NCAA receptions leader and showed that he can catch the ball with good route running. He fit into the seams, and I think he can play a role similar to what Wes Welker does.

More from East Carolina Pirates

The trick is what team he goes to. I think Hardy is best served going to a team with an established number one threat. The Carolina Panthers would be a good fit for Hardy. Hardy would not be asked to do things that he does not normally do. Kelvin Benjamin is the number one target and Ted Ginn can run off some of the coverage deep.

Hardy has good value, which means that he might end up on a team that is not a good fit for him. Look at the Jacksonville Jaguars. They have a young quarterback without an established wide receiver corps. They need targets, but Hardy would not be able to play his way there. Coverages would spend more time on him since there is no greater threat on the field.

The team that would get the most mileage out of Hardy is the New England Patriots. The Patriots are used to finding things to do with guys like Hardy. They have Julian Edelman and Danny Amendola, so there is experience with the kind of role Hardy would have. Unfortunately that redundancy and the lateness of the Patriots pick will probably prevent the union.

More from Old North Banter

Another spot where Hardy could fit are the New York Giants. The Giants have two deep threat guys with Odell Beckham and Victor Cruz. They could use a midfield worker like Hardy to make Eli Manning’s life a little easier.

The Jets would also be an intriguing spot for Hardy, which I would support more if they had more from Geno Smith by now. Maybe Smith needs a Justin Hardy to reach his full potential.

That being said, Hardy will find a home in the second round. Unlike other picks, it will be easy to figure out how Hardy will fit.

Next: Carolina Panthers Should Target Tackle, WR in Round 2