The Falcons spent a 4th-round pick on WR Justin Hardy. WR is quietly a position of need for the Falcons, who only have a 33-year-old Roddy White, Leonard Hankerson and Devin Hester behind Julio Jones. Hardy is a smallish 5'10 and 192 pounds with mediocre speed. But he's a smooth mover who runs good routes and has reliable hands. That helped him set an NCAA record with 387 career receptions. He'll compete for the #3 WR spot in Atlanta right out of the gate. We'll see if Hardy can eventually replace White as the #2.
Falcons WR Justin Hardy recently underwent surgery on his right shoulder. Recovery is expected to take just "a few weeks," per ESPN's Vaughn McClure, so Hardy's offseason shouldn't be impacted much. He was a non-factor in fantasy this season, finishing with a 20-221-3 line on 29 targets. Hardy could see a few extra looks in 2018 if WR Taylor Gabriel departs in free agency, but he still won't be worth a pick in fantasy drafts.
Falcons HC Dan Quinn made it clear that WR Justin Hardy is not a lock to replace Roddy White in the starting lineup. "As far as labeling Justin and saying he's automatically the two, I wouldn't be willing to go there," Quinn said. A 4th-round rookie, Hardy hauled in 58% of his targets and averaged just 9.2 yards per catch in limited action last year. At 5'10 and 192 pounds with subpar athleticism, he might max out as a slot, #3-type WR. We'll see what Atlanta adds to the position this offseason.
Falcons rookie Justin Hardy said he's learning all the WR positions at rookie minicamp. He'll be battling for a slot role between Julio Jones and Roddy White this season. But learning the outside spots means Atlanta at least considers him a potential option on the outside down the road. White turns 34 in November, while Jones is currently set to reach free agency next offseason. Hardy won't be much of a fantasy asset in 2015 but could eventually turn into a weekly starter. He checks in 14th among WRs in our Dynasty Rookie Rankings.
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