Just about every day without having any new news, it becomes a lot more most likely that wide receiver Tyreek Hill will be a member of the Kansas City Chiefs to start the 2019 season. But that does not imply he will physically begin the year with the club.
Regardless of what takes place to Hill when it comes to his legal and off-the-field matters, the league could suspend Hill for a quantity of games. And if it does, many believe rookie wide receiver Mecole Hardman, the team’s prime choose in the 2019 NFL draft, will be thrown proper into the fire to support fill that void.
“He’s continuing to create and he’s very quickly and he plays that way,” Chiefs wide receivers coach Greg Lewis stated of Hardman, who ran a four.33 40-yard dash at the NFL’s Scouting Combine. “That’s what we want. We want a guy that can play quickly, take the prime off the coverage, get by means of and make plays down the field.”
A guy that can play quickly, take the prime off the coverage, get by means of and make plays down the field. Sounds a lot like Hill, does not it?
But the glaring reality is that the 21-year-old Hardman is not Hill. At least not but.
“It’s my job to create him as a comprehensive route runner with the underneath stuff,” Lewis added. “He’s undertaking a tremendous job. He’s in right here early each and every day attempting to discover the ins and outs to support himself turn into much better as a specialist football player.”
Although Chiefs particular teams coordinator Dave Toub stated cornerback Tremon Smith is nonetheless the starter at kick returner, I think the Chiefs’ minimum expectations in trading up to choose Hardman had been that he could fill the footwear of Hill as a property-run hitter on punt and kick returns.
If you can hold the worry in the opposing punter in kicking the ball to your returner, there is a much better likelihood he shanks it out of bounds. And if he shanks it out of bounds and the reigning MVP Patrick Mahomes has 45 yards to travel as an alternative of 60… nicely, most effective of luck.
Toub, who plays a part when it comes to scouting players on particular teams ahead of the draft, highlighted Hardman’s film when asked about him on Thursday.
“Watching him in college, you could see the burst and explosiveness immediately after he catches the ball and separates from good quality players,” Toub stated. “So we really feel like he can do the similar factor right here at this level.”
Hardman returned 39 punts and 35 kicks at Georgia, returning one particular punt for a touchdown. But even with a lot more reside action as a punt returner, Toub explained that the rookie is a lot more polished taking kickoffs.
“He’s likely a lot more sophisticated proper now as a kickoff returner simply because [as a] punt returner, it just requires a lengthy time to get the ball reads and make catches and difficult catches and brief catches and catches in a crowd,” he stated. “So we’re just going to be out there, we’re going to catch a lot of balls and get him proper.”
The a lot more balls Hardman fields, the much better he will be. And the much better he can be, the a lot more comfy the Chiefs will really feel as coaching camp draws nearer.
Of course, that is not the finish purpose for Hardman. Like the Chiefs had been ultimately in a position to achieve with Hill more than a 3-year period starting in 2016, they hope to turn Hardman into a viable NFL receiver.
Hardman may perhaps by no means be specifically like Hill, regardless of the organic comparison provided the predicament in which the Chiefs have located themselves. But yet another comparison came up this week thanks to the Chiefs new behind-the-scenes show, “The Franchise.”
Offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy was caught on camera in the draft area relating the Chiefs rookie to legendary Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Chad Johnson when he came out of college. Johnson went on to turn into a 3-time All-Pro and six-time Pro Bowler.
Unsurprisingly, Bieniemy backtracked when he was asked on Thursday.
“To place that stress on Mecole, I assume that is a tremendous height to examine him to,” he stated. “I will say this — Mecole is undertaking a heck of a job. He’s a wise, intelligent kid. Certainly, when you come into this level, there are some issues you need to have to continue to operate on—the speed of the game getting one particular of them and just understanding the urgency in which we have just to get much better.
“We do not have a lot of time on the practice field, so we want to make certain that we have a sense of urgency and a sense of objective in anything that we do out right here, and he’s enhancing on that each and every single day.”
As the planet expects Hardman to be Hill… or Chad Johnson… the Chiefs continue to pursue everyday progress—both as a returner and wide receiver.