The Chiefs have an abundance of weapons on offense and you would think even after a guy like Sammy Watkins goes down, the offense wouldn’t lose a step. However, a guy like Mecole Hardman seems to not be giving a spark to the offense like he did last year. Has Hardman regressed? Lets take a look!
After coming off a stellar year last year, Mecole Hardman seems to not be having the same spark that he has as the year prior. Sometimes I wonder what exactly is going on, so I take a look at some numbers that might be able to tell us the answer.
Mecole led the NFL in yards per reception last year with a whopping 20.7 yards per reception. That is exactly what you would expect from a guy with elite speed like Mecole, but as you are aware, the Chiefs are being played a lot differently than they were last year.
KC is having to put together a lot more 10+ play drives and just take what the defense is giving them. Mecole is only averaging 14.9 yards per reception this year and I don’t think that has to do with regression, that is just a product of how teams are playing Kansas City this year.
One thing that is alarming thus far is that Mecole already has twice as many drops as he did last year. He only had one drop through the whole 2019 season, but has two already this year. Granted, two isn’t a lot, but when you only have 13 receptions this year, that could be a sign of things to come down the road.
Another thing that is worrisome is that the two bright spots for Hardman this year have been his crazy two-point conversion catch against the Chargers and the long touchdown catch he had against Baltimore. If you think about what he did last year, there are multiple plays that probably come to mind when you think about Hardman. Not to mention, he hasn’t done much of anything on special teams this year either.
I don’t think Mecole has regressed, I think a lot of why he hasn’t blown up yet this year is just a product of how teams are game planning for the Chiefs and not having Watkins on the field can hinder him as well. I don’t think he is ready to be a complete every down WR just yet, but I do think that is still something that we will see in the future.
I do expect Mecole to be a big part of the offense going forward, but I do think it is hard to lower expectations given how great he was as a rookie. Give Mecole some time and I’m sure we will see this young player boom onto the scene for this loaded offense once again.