WR Justin Hardy - Atlanta Falcons
|5-10, 192||Born: 12-18-1991||College: East Carolina||Drafted: Round 4, pick 2015|
2018 Week 6 vs TB (7 / 3 / 33 / 0 rec)
He earned a one-on-one up the seam towards the end zone but was overthrown during the second drive of the game. He earned a quick seven yards on a short out from the slot with Atlanta backed up inside its own one yard-line during the second quarter. He earned 17 yards in an empty zone with 12 seconds left. Hardy dropped a slant late in the third quarter.
2018 Week 7 vs NYG (2 / 2 / 24 / 0 rec)
Ryan found Hardy on a play-action crossing route near midfield for a first down midway through the third quarter
2018 Week 12 vs NO (2 / 1 / 6 / 0 rec)
Earned a gain up the right sideline on a route to the flat late in the fourth quarter with the game out of reach.
2018 Week 14 vs GB (4 / 3 / 30 / 1 rec)
Earned garbage time in the middle of the fourth quarter and caught a short pass to the flat for Atlanta to reach the Packers red zone. He earned a slant for a touchdown with 14 seconds left for a garbage-time touchdown.
2018 Week 15 vs ARI (3 / 3 / 29 / 1 rec)
He earned 18 up the left sideline on a play-action throwback in the middle of the second quarter. He broke through a reach to his shoulder late in the third quarter on a slot screen pass at the line of scrimmage for a first-down conversion to get Atlanta near the Falcons' 40. Hardy scored on a wide-open post to the end line with a garbage-time touchdown early in the fourth quarter.
2017 Week 1 vs CHI (0 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)
Hardy juggled a 3rd and 8 deep out that he tight roped the sideline and incomplete but Matt Ryan was roughed with late hit on the ground in the third quarter with 5:10 left.
2017 Week 2 vs GB (2 / 1 / 19 / 0 rec)
He caught an under route to set up a first and goal inside the five of Green Bay after dragging two defenders five yards during the third series. Ryan just overshot Hardy on an intermediate cross off play-action on a 1st and 10 pass just past midfield.
2017 Week 4 vs BUF (6 / 2 / 12 / 1 rec)
Wide-open on an underneath route, Hardy got inside the 15 to set up a 3rd and 7 after a penalty on first down by the Atlanta offense put the Falcons in a long situation. The play after Tevin Coleman was stripped, Hardy fumbled a sideline hitch after making a move up field and Buffalo recovered. However, he never earned control of the reception and the replay booth overturned the play, ruling it a drop. White interfered with Hardy on a corner route from the slot in the red zone in the middle of the fourth quarter to set up a first and goal from the one. A few plays later, Hardy caught the shallow route as the inside trips man against a blown coverage for a one-yard score. Hardy let a 2nd and 4 crossing route go through his hands with 3:00 left and down by 6.
2017 Week 6 vs MIA (3 / 3 / 34 / 0 rec)
Hardy's first catch came in the underneath zone in the middle of the field before two defenders swarmed to the ball for a short gain, setting up a 3rd and 1 during the first half. He earned two consecutive receptions with 1:30 and 1:15 left in the contest to get past the 50, including a third-down conversion in the middle of the field.
2017 Week 7 vs NE (2 / 2 / 21 / 0 rec)
His first target was a crossing route past midfield during the middle of the fourth quarter to get inside the Patriots' 40. He was targeted again on the next play but dropped for a loss of a yard on a wide route in the left flat.
2017 Week 9 vs CAR (2 / 2 / 26 / 0 rec)
He gained 19 yards in the middle during the fourth quarter with Ryan under pressure, crossing midfield on the play. It was the extent of his contribution.
2017 Week 10 vs DAL (2 / 2 / 7 / 1 rec)
His first catch was a four-yard gain on a screen pass to the left side during the first drive of the second half. Ryan found Hardy on a post route in the back of the end zone to cap a drive of six and a half minutes to begin the third quarter. Hardy was the outside trips receiver working behind the defense.
2017 Week 11 vs SEA (4 / 3 / 27 / 0 rec)
He dug out a 3rd and 5 pass in tight coverage with a diving play on a low throw for the first, first down of the game. He followed up with a short out and worked up the right sideline for a few more for a gain of seven. Hardy caught a low-thrown out on 3rd and 7 to set up a 1st and goal on the second drive. On a 3rd and 8 during Atlanta's third drive, he initially caught the ball with a leaping high-point against Craphonso Thorpe, but the cornerback knocked the ball loose as Hardy returned to earth. In terms of volume, this was Hardy's most productive game of the year.
2017 Week 15 vs TB (4 / 2 / 33 / 1 rec)
: He earned 27 yards on a deep curl where the coverage fell to the ground while adjusting to Hardy's break. The receiver continued up the seam for about seven of those yards after the catch. Hardy got open as the single left receiver from the Tampa seven on a stop fade against the blitz with only 10 defenders on the field for the first Atlanta touchdown. Hardy later dropped a high-point target across the middle in the end zone with Chris Conte wrapped around him late in the third quarter.
2017 Week 17 vs CAR (3 / 2 / 32 / 0 rec)
He earned 17 on a shallow route to a wide-open right flat on a boot-action pass midway through the third quarter to get Atlanta past midfield to the Carolina 27. He ran a pivot route that was well covered and led too far down field on 3rd down in the red zone during the second half. This led to a 30-yard field goal. He got the first down on a 15-yard crossing route after Ryan slid into an open lane in the pocket at the end of the third quarter.
2016 Week 1 vs TB (2 / 1 / 0 / 0 rec)
He dropped a pass after contact in the late first half over the middle and his second target resulted in a catch without a gain.
2016 Week 2 vs OAK (3 / 1 / 8 / 1 rec)
Hardy might be looking over his shoulder with Taylor Gabriel joining the club. His only target wasn't even intended for him. Tevin Coleman earned a target on a slant late in the fourth quarter and the Raiders' linebacker hit the back, forced the ball to ricochet off the runner, and Hardy was the man on the spot, making the rebound just ahead of Sean Smith for the go-ahead score. Great awareness but he was otherwise silent and not an active part of the passing game.
2016 Week 3 vs NO (2 / 2 / 26 / 1 rec)
Hardy took a shovel pass with a fake end around and dove over James Laurinitis for the score. It was the play of greatest consequence for the receiving game that didn't include a running back.
2016 Week 4 vs CAR (0 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)
He nullified an Eric Weems punt return that reached midfield because he held on the play. He also had a 32-yard punt return of his own through a good crease up the left flat. He was not targeted in the passing game. Taylor Gabriel has vaulted him on the depth chart.
2016 Week 6 vs SEA (3 / 3 / 30 / 0 rec)
After Taylor Gabriel was knocked from the game, Hardy made two timely plays. The first was a slant under a defender to midfield on 3rd down early in the third quarter. It kept the drive alive to cut Seattle's lead to seven. He then caught a tipped third-down pass to get Atlanta into Seattle territory. His final target was a 2nd and 8 catch on the slant with a low throw directed to a spot where only Hardy could make the play.
2016 Week 8 vs GB (1 / 1 / 13 / 0 rec)
His only target was a dig route for a first down with less than 3:30 in the game to reach midfield.
2016 Week 12 vs ARI (4 / 3 / 47 / 0 rec)
Hardy made a leaping catch for 27 yards on a sail route against Patrick Peterson playing off coverage and got Atlanta inside the Arizona 10, setting up a score. He also caught a shallow route for a first down later in the second quarter and then a quick slant for a first down with 0:45 in the half. Hardy faced off man or zone coverage and still hasn't shown skill beating tight man, which is why he's behind Gabriel in the rotation.
2016 Week 13 vs KC (3 / 1 / 5 / 0 rec)
Ryan overshot Hardy on an end line target that was too high on 3rd and goal from the 2. Atlanta settled for a field goal. Hardy made a quick catch on 3rd and 3 on a slant for a first down. He later dropped a crossing route in the end zone against tight coverage with 4:37 in the game.
2016 Week 14 vs LA (2 / 2 / 9 / 1 rec)
The slot option scored on a three-yard pass on the first offensive play of the game after Atlanta recovered a fumble on the opening kickoff. He caught a quick stick route shy of the first down marker with 1:45 in the half. It was a third-down play and forced a punt late in the half. Hardy worked open for a 10-yard gain on an improvised play when a screen didn't come open during the second half, but the play was called back due to Alex Mack getting down field illegally. It wasn't Mack's fault, the Rams foiled the initial screen and Matt Ryan had to hold onto the ball and find Hardy on the improvised play.
2016 Week 17 vs NO (7 / 4 / 43 / 1 rec)
This was his best game of the year and nearly half of his yards came on a short in-cut seven yards downfield on a 3rd and 8 late in the half. He broke a tackle across midfield, got the first down and worked up the right sideline with a stiff-arm on a safety for another 10 yards. The Saints looked worn-out in terms of effort and intensity of tackling. After a Sanu screen for 15 yards late in the half, Hardy caught a fade at the right pylon at the front of the goal line for the score. It was a good stretch for the ball.
2016 Week 19 vs SEA (2 / 2 / 18 / 0 rec, 1 / 0 / 0 rush)
Hardy gained maybe a yard on an end around at the 40 of Seattle when Michael Bennett kept the WR at bay during the first Atlanta drive. He earned a short gain for a first down in the right flat early in the third quarter to get Atlanta inside the 21 of Seattle. The officials ruled a drop on a 3rd and 10 out early in the fourth quarter at the sideline after Hardy rolled out of bounds with the ball and hit the towel guy. The replay officials awarded Hardy the catch and an important third-down conversion during the second half. It wasnft a big day for Hardy, but two first downs helped the cause.
2015 Week 8 vs TB (4 / 2 / 21 / 0 rec)
With Nick Williams and Leonard Hankerson out with injury, Hardy earned playing time and he made a few sound plays. He caught a hook for a first down at the end of the first quarter after Matt Ryan climbed the pocket from pressure. Hardy did a good job working back to the ball and high-pointing the pass. He also dug out a low throw inside the 15 late in the third quarter. He also earned a short flat route in the red zone and split two defenders to work inside the five after the catch, but an illegal chop block on Devonta Freeman on Henry Melton nullified the target. Hardy didn't get targeted on any route he won against man coverage, but his zone route skills were helpful this week and he was reliable.
2015 Week 9 vs SF (4 / 4 / 17 / 0 rec)
The rookie caught a third and two shallow zone route thrown behind his back shoulder with Matt Ryan under pressure, converting the target for a first down. He then slipped after the catch on a 2nd and 13 shallow cross and was limited to a yard. He earned a first down on a flat route with 6:15 left in the game and later caught a shallow route breaking over the middle two yard shy of the goal line. He remains a check-down option or zone target. Until he earns the opportunity to win on deeper routes or against single coverage, Hardy will remain a small-time player in this offense.
2015 Week 11 vs IND (2 / 1 / 7 / 0 rec)
The rookie spun off a wrap on first down during the third series on a shallow cross and earned eight yards. That's it.
2015 Week 12 vs MIN (2 / 2 / 21 / 0 rec)
The rookie caught a comeback from an empty backfield set on 2nd and 16 after Ryan spun left and fired to the receiver at the sideline for an 11-yard gain. He later found Hardy wide open at the right sideline on a short out and the receiver turned up field for the first down to get inside the 20. Hardy has yet to draw a target against tight man coverage, so it's not advisable to make too much of what Hardy has to offer until he earns more targets and more targets where the defense is focused specifically on stopping the young receiver.
2015 Week 15 vs JAX (5 / 3 / 36 / 0 rec)
Today was Hardy's most meaningful production of the season, but it remained a product of zone routes or patterns designed to beat lesser corners playing man coverage in the middle of the field. Matt Ryan threw behind Hardy on two targets while facing pressure that resulted in missed targets. Hardy's first catch was a 20-yard gain in the middle of the field after Atlanta picked up a blitz and the Jaguars left the slot man wide open. Later in the drive, Hardy got open across the middle near mid-field and then got open for Ryan a third time after scrambling rom pressure to help Atlanta solidify its lead. Hardy won a slant route, which was progress from only winning crossing routes, but he's still not making his money off timing routes or the vertical passing game. Until then, he's not a fantasy factor.
2015 Week 16 vs CAR (3 / 2 / 15 / 0 rec)
His only target was a 3rd and 14 pass that he juggled, but managed to grab and get into field goal range with 2:27 in the game. This led to a field goal that extended Atlanta's lead to four points.
2015 Week 17 vs NO (6 / 4 / 34 / 0 rec)
The rookie caught a shallow cross in the fourth series late in the half, setting up a third and four during the series. This came after Ryan threw a third-down skinny post behind Hardy that led to a blocked field goal. Hardy reached the 15 late in the third quarter for a curl under the zone in the flat for a first down on a third-down target. He later caught a short out inside the three at the top of the fourth quarter then a short drag route inside three minutes, but he was short of the fist down marker and a personal foul on Atlanta resulted in a fourth down for the Falcons and led to a punt. Hardy has displayed competence with getting open and catching the ball with routes in the shallow zone, but that's all. He's had very limited opportunities to face man coverage. He'll have to prove that he can produce against single coverage for his career to progress beyond a small supporting role in this offensive scheme.