Mecole Hardman one of the betting favorites to win NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year
Mecole Hardman wasn’t one of the most talked about offensive prospects in the 2019 NFL Draft. Yes, most thought he’d end up going in the second or third round. But few could’ve predicted a better situation than the one Hardman landed in with the Chiefs.
Kansas City traded up to make Hardman its first player taken in the 2019 NFL Draft. Hardman was taken with the No. 56 pick in the draft and the fifth wide receiver off the board.
But Hardman could easily outperform those draft projections if he is able to fill the possibly vacated role of Tyreek Hill. The current Kansas City wide receiver is on very thin ice with the NFL following the releasing of some damning audio tapes. The 2018 All-Pro wide receiver is currently suspended by the team and it would not be a shock to see him ultimately cut from the team.
Hardman and Hill have similar skill sets, given that Hardman ran a blazing fast 4.33 40-yard dash. Given that Hardman will be playing with 2018 NFL MVP Patrick Mahomes, it’s easy to see Hardman having a big rookie year. So big, that OddShark has Hardman as one of the top Offensive Rookie of the Year bets, as he has 10-to-1 odds to win the award.
Opening odds to be named NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year:
— Odds Shark (@OddsShark) April 29, 2019
Hardman is tied with Marquise Brown of the Baltimore Ravens — who was taken with the No. 25 pick in the draft — for best odds among a wide receiver. Hardman has better odds than the likes of TJ Hockenson and Daniel Jones, who were both taken in the first round of the draft.
Kyler Murray, the No. 1 overall pick by the Arizona Cardinals, is the favorite at 5-to-2. Ohio State quarterback Dwayne Haskins is 7-to-1. He was taken by the Washington Redskins with the No. 15 overall pick.
Georgia had several rookies play well this past year, as Nick Chubb and Sony Michel both shined on the offensive side of the ball. Hardman is the first UGA wide receiver to be taken in the first two rounds of the NFL draft since AJ Green was taken with the No. 4 overall pick in the 2011 NFL Draft.
Hardman was one of seven former Georgia players taken this weekend in the 2019 NFL Draft. Fellow wide receivers Riley Ridley and Terry Godwin also found new homes. Ridley was taken by the Chicago Bears with pick No. 126. Godwin was selected by the Carolina Panthers with the No. 237 pick in the draft.
It has also been reported that Hardman was very much a wanted commodity in this year’s NFL draft. Manish Meta of the New York Daily News and Terez Paylor of Yahoo Sports reported that the New York Jets had discussions with the Philadelphia Eagles about trading up to the No. 57 pick to select Hardman. But the Chiefs packaged the No. 61 pick and the No. 167 pick to move up and select Hardman.
In addition to his abilities as a wide receiver, Hardman will be able to help in the return game. Hardman averaged 20 yards per punt return last season for the Bulldogs. It’s clear that Hardman has a chance to have an excellent career with the Chiefs, even if Hill is somehow still on the roster.
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