Coming into the NFL, many — myself included — assumed that second-round pick Mecole Hardman would be another version of Tyreek Hill playing opposite of Tyreek Hill in the Kansas City Chiefs offense. However, that’s not how it has played out thus far.
Hardman showed promise during his rookie season; the speedster caught 26 of 41 targets for 538 yards — a whopping 20.7 yards per receptions — and six touchdowns, per Pro Football reference. But his second season in the NFL didn’t resemble the same kind of promise as his rookie season. In 2020, Hardman gathered 41 of 62 targets for 560 yards — 13.7 yards per reception — and four touchdowns.
You could argue that Hardman has most of his most damage as a punt returner during his first two years in the NFL. In 2020 he gathered the 14th most punt return yards in the NFL (176) but only averaged 7.0 yards per return, per Team Rankings. To put that into context, New York Giants safety Jabrill Peppers recorded the 13th most punt return yards last season (187) and averaged 12.5 yards per return. Detroit Lions’ Jamal Agnew is 15th in the league (178) and averaged 12.7 yards per return.
This has caused Hardman to draw a lot of criticism, especially after his Week 1 performance against the Cleveland Browns in which he reeled in three catches on three targets for 19 yards. And Hardman has seemingly had enough of it.
Using Twitter to vent his frustrations, Hardman pushed out a couple tweets on Friday that expressed his opinion of those who are criticizing him. While he later opted to delete those posts, Heavy.com was able to screenshot the tweets before they disappeared.
The first tweet Hardman sent said, “I hate when people say I don’t run the correct routes? like ya’ll must know the playbook or [something]?”