The Atlanta Falcons brought back veteran wide receiver Justin Hardy on a one-year deal a move signaling what they will do in the upcoming draft. Hardy is a solid depth piece to complement a deep receiver unit.
Justin Hardy is back with the Atlanta Falcons on a one-year deal. The move continues the early off-season trend of signing complimentary offensive pieces while ignoring the defensive side of the ball.
Hardy has 751-yards in his career to go with 9-touchdowns. Hardy’s value isn’t completely reflected in his stats considering his route running and blocking ability.
Using Hardy as a depth receiver is a great move for the Falcons if they will avoid using Hardy to return kicks. He doesn’t have the skill, speed, or spacial awareness it takes to be an effective returner.
If the Falcons plan to use Hardy as a returner they will again consistently come up short on special teams and lack the ability to flip field position.
This move continues to point to the fact as well that Atlanta is actively looking to add to their offense in free agency. They have ignored the defensive side of the ball, pointing to the fact they will draft heavy defensively in the upcoming draft.
It would be surprising to see them draft any offensive players in the first three rounds of the draft considering they have addressed all areas of need. The only other addition could be a returner or a running back the Falcons add in a late round.
Taking this approach is wise considering how well the Falcons have drafted on defense over the past three seasons. They have consistently added impact players with few busts and even their worst picks have contributed in some fashion.
Drafting their own talent while signing their stars long term is an approach that will leave all responsibility and pressure for the upcoming Falcon’s season on the front office and coaching staff. Pressure this franchise will continue to face until they prove they can do what they have been incapable of in recent seasons, win big games late.