Atlanta Falcons have a new weapon in Justin Hardy


It’s hard to imagine that a record setting receiver is not getting any sort of coverage from media outlets. But, for the Atlanta Falcons, their new, hidden gem of a receiver is setting up for a long career making plays after shattering records during college.

Credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports

Former East Carolina walk-on, Justin Hardy, is poised to become a household name like Wes Welker did in New England.

And, with what was seen during his time at East Carolina, he could easily make Harry Douglas a distant afterthought with his knack of making the sure-handed catch and moving the chains on those pesky third down second and third down plays that have paralyzed the Falcons for the past couple of years.

Hardy is a little over 6 feet tall, and ran the 40 in 4.5 seconds, so he will never be confused with a Calvin Johnson, but this is one of those players who is ready to bust onto the scene in a big way.

With the vacancy at slot receiver left by Douglas, the door is flung open for Hardy. He can become yet another, weapon for Atlanta’s high flying offense.

Heading into the draft, I highlighted this player as one of the guys that I thought could very easily be taken in the second round after making 387 receptions for 4,541 yards and 35 touchdowns. This was more than enough to prove he has potential.

Going back to my Wes Welker comparison — would you have taken him a couple of years ago when he was unstoppable for Tom Brady and the Patriots?

More than likely, you would. And, though Hardy has yet to prove anything on the professional circuit, all of the intangibles that separated Welker from other slot receivers are there. Great hands, great vision, and a great quarterback throwing him the ball will propel this guy up all fantasy boards, jersey sales, and into the hearts of Falcons fans.

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Having a capable, taller version of Welker could make this draft choice one of those selections that points to putting this team over the top.

As the season draws near, all defensive eyes must be on Julio Jones and Roddy White, who are still among the best wide receiver duos in the league.

Now, there is another receiver ready to become a nuisance to defenses, and because of the talent around him, Hardy will definitely take advantage of the busy defenses in the league.

The Falcons have yet again added an amazing piece to their offense, and it could be a good enough acquisition that may separate this team from the bed of misery and disappointment that it has known for so long.

Next: Can the Atlanta Falcons reach the Super Bowl?