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NFL Draft

2021 NFL Draft Scouting Report: WR Adrian Hardy

  • The Draft Network
  • January 30, 2021
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Adrian Hardy originally committed to Oklahoma but never enrolled. Oklahoma granted him his release and he spent his college career at Louisiana Tech. After redshirting in 2016, Hardy earned playing time in 2017. His breakout season came in 2018 when he logged 75 catches for 1,145 yards and six touchdowns. In 2019 and 2020, Hardy never found that type of production again. Hardy mostly played X receiver for the Bulldogs, and that’s where he fits best at the next level. He has good size and is a physical player. He runs his routes with an emphasis on angles, using his body to create leverage advantages and being physical. He has good hands and is competitive. With that said, Hardy is only a modest athlete with pedestrian separation quickness. He isn’t dynamic in and out of breaks and he doesn’t have the ability to generate vertical push as a route-runner. He isn’t much of a threat with the ball in his hands or to all levels of the field. For Hardy to stick, becoming dominant as a possession-style receiver and growing into a special teams ace will be critical given the limitations within his skill set. 

Ideal Role: Developmental X receiver.

Scheme Fit: West Coast.


Written by: Joe Marino 

Games watched: LSU (2018), UAB (2020), BYU (2020)  

Best Game Studied: LSU (2018) 

Worst Game Studied: BYU (2020) 

Route Running: Hardy is a technician as a route-runner that takes advantage of angles, his size, and his strength to create leverage. With that said, Hardy lacks burst and quickness out of breaks to truly separate. Hardy does do a good job of adjusting his routes to zone and settling in space to make himself available to the quarterback. 

Hands: Hardy has good hands and he catches the football naturally. He has good focus at the catch point and can snatch the football away from his body. Drops were a bit of an issue in 2018 when he received a heavier workload with targets but were a non-issue in his other three seasons.  

Separation: Hardy lacks quickness and burst in and out of breaks to be a dynamic separator in the NFL against man coverage. His best moments of creating separation come with how savvy he is to adjust on the fly against man coverage and make himself available. He is a gradual accelerator, so getting open down the field is unlikely in the NFL. 

Run After Catch: Hardy is decisive and physical after the catch and he will gain the available yards. With that said, he isn't twitchy or elusive enough to create yards for himself and his skill set does not demand manufactured touches. Defenders have no issue gaining an angle on him quickly. 

Ball Skills: Hardy has sufficient ball skills. There are some impressive moments of concentration and tracking down the field. There are also reps where he can be tardy to adjust and the ball can get on top of him quickly. 

Football IQ: Hardy has a modest athletic profile and I appreciate the technique he plays with to help overcome that with the way he uses his angles and body positioning. He makes excellent adjustments on the fly and understands how to attack space. 

Release Package: Hardy is physical and knows how to get his hands available to help him clear jams at the line of scrimmage. With that said, he isn’t agile enough to take aggressive angles off the ball and he invites plenty of contact because of that. He does have some variance with his release package and fares well against off-man coverage.  

Versatility: Hardy almost exclusively played out wide at Louisiana Tech and rarely from the slot. He might benefit from more reps in the slot in the NFL, but ideally he would be a more dynamic route-runner for that role. I wouldn’t call Hardy a dynamic threat to all levels of the field and he’s more of a possession-style receiver that is most dangerous in the intermediate level. 

Competitive Toughness: Hardy is a dog as a blocker. He gets after it and executes with good technique—leveraged hips, engaged feet, and hands fit. He is a physical player as a route-runner, at the catch point, and with the ball in his hands. 

Big-Play Ability: Hardy doesn’t have the speed and consistency with his ball skills down the field to project as much of a vertical threat in the NFL. He isn’t explosive after the catch and isn’t a threat to consistently create chunks of offense. His modest athletic profile limits his big-play ability in the NFL. 

Prospect Comparison: Shaq Evans (2014 NFL Draft, New York Jets) 


TDN Consensus: To Be Determined

Joe Marino: 65.5/100

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