NFL Draft Preview: James Hardy

James Hardy, WR, Indiana

6’6   220 lbs   4.51 secs – 40 yards

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Pros:  Lets start with his size.  This WR is 6’6 220 lbs and runs a 4.51 forty.  He was the 78th ranked Prep High School Basketball player his senior year and played basketball and football his freshman year at Indiana.  He is very athletic with long arms and big hands.  He catches the ball very well and uses his big body to create additional space in tight areas.  He is a terror in the red zone.  He ranked in the top 10 in 4 categories at the combine for WR’s.  Bench press, Broad Jump, 3 cone, and 20 yard shuttle.  This shows that he has explosion and quick feet. 

Cons:  Not a great blocker, but what WR is these days.  Needs to get a little stronger, but has the frame to get that done.  He has a few character concerns, but nothing too serious.  He is still pretty raw and has only really focused on football for two years, but was a Junior All-American so he obviously has the skill.

How he fits with the EAGLES:  He is rising rather quickly up draft boards, but if the Birds are not able to secure a WR via a trade, Hardy fits in very well with their need of a red zone threat.  People are comparing him to Plaxico, but I would compare him more to Marques Colston.  The bad part is that Eagles WRs never play as rookies, but he could perhaps focus on red-zone packages and have a niche his rookie year.  #19 in the first round is too high for him and he may be gone by our second round pick.  Maybe a trade down for an addition 3rd round pick and grab him in the early part of the second round.  Everyone has us locked in to draft a tackle in round 1, but I am not sure they are locked in on that position.  McNabb needs a play-maker and they are trying to get him one, plus they have Winston Justice who is not nearly as bad as he played against the Giants and the Eagles really like Pat McCoy.  They could also move Herremans to LT and put Max-Jean in at guard.  I think they go with play-makers early. 

Next up:  Chris Johnson, RB/WR, East Carolina

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