Was limited to only ten snaps on offense. Hardman has three starts to Watkins’ one. Robinson is usually the last progression of Mahomes’ targets so getting to his designated area on the field consistently is all that is asked of him. By playing five percent more of the offensive snap counts, it would seem that he and the second-year receiver play different roles. However, Robinson has produced less in every category.
Hardman has hauled in 13 of his 17 targets for 194 yards and two touchdowns over the last four weeks. In 2019,, ranking third in the NFL, his completion percentage on throws 20 yards or more downfield has fallen to 31.8 percent. With Sammy out for the next few games, the question will be who will fill Watkins’ role within the Kansas City Chiefs offense. The quarterback has seen fewer targets and playing time due to how defenses have played against them in 2020.
Defenders are dropping into coverage. Hardman hasn’t shown enough to be trusted in a bigger role in only five games during his career. He has seen more than four targets in three of those games. Notably, Reid has been the big target in receivers’ offensive snaps. Watkins was the second-highest scorer in Week 3. The defense relied heavily on defensive playcalling and pass rushes to score plays. Reportedly, hardman is capable of scoring plays with accuracy even though he
Was cornerback Travis Steffen on the opposite side of the field running a dig route. Hardman doesn’t get the ball on this play, but his separation at the top of his route flashed what he could do. He also does not consistently create his own separation, as shown in this video. Notably, hard breaking routes are rare. This is especially true on routes like corners and posts. Note how everyone else is run blocking.
, the only receiver that has shown consistency to play that X role in Watkins’s place or be able to get off of press-man coverage with consistency is behind the top guys. The cornerback who passes him off and sits in his zone is there to stop the run to that boundary for just three yards. It was clear that Hardman wasn’t on the same page as the rest of the offense. This could bring out more creativity.
Hardman has flashed the ability to be more, but consistently doing it is a different story. With Reid in the fold, Reid will have to prove that he can create separation for himself without the play call’s help. Reid also showed his versatility on the field this season, which was impressive for Reid. “I don’t know what to do with Watkins…He just needs to work hard at it,” Hill said.