As part of our coverage leading up to the 2015 NFL Draft we will provide profiles of 200 prospects, including what the scouts around the league are saying and video interviews with each player.

Justin Hardy (WR), East Carolina

5’10” | 192 lbs.

2014 stats:

121 rec, 1494 yards, 10 TD

Projection:

3rd-4th round

What scouts are saying:

"Hardy consistently attacks his on-field responsibility with urgency and aggressiveness and he's a very reliable target. With more teams running the ball out of three-WR sets, some coordinators will see value in the way Hardy gets after run-blocking assignments. Hardy must prove that he has the quickness to get separation out of his breaks." - NFL.com's Lance Zierlein

"Not an elite speed player, but accelerates well with subtle quickness off the line of scrimmage to shake press. Intuitive target and finds soft coverages to exploit defenses. Excellent depth in his routes and works back to the ball, always trying to get open. Terrific job with body fakes to sell patterns. Quick footwork with concentration through the process, showing the ability to refocus on the move. Natural ballskills with sticky hands and a large catching radius, attacking the ball, not allowing it to come to him. Quick-thinker and has his next move figured out before the catch. Not content with just catching the ball and took advantage of catch-and-go designed plays in college. Tracks well with easy adjustments. Plays with urgency and competes on each snap, finishing runs and improvising when needed. High football intelligence. Heady and willing blocker and more than adequate in this area. Primary punt return duties the last three seasons (63/495/7.9). Soft-spoken, but confident and always trying to prove himself. Consistent workmanlike effort with meticulous practice habits. The most productive receiver in FBS history with a record 387 career catches and his 4,541 receiving yards ranks third all-time in FBS history." - CBS Sports' Dane Brugler

 

Fit for the Bears:

In a draft that is loaded with talent at receiver, Hardy hasn't gotten a lot of publicity. But the former East Carolina star posted big numbers in 2014 and could be a steal in the middle rounds for the Bears. While he doesn't have elite size or speed, Hardy is reliable and runs great routes. He could compete for the outside spot opposite of Alshon Jeffery in 2015 and make an impact right away. If the Bears whiff on some of the top receiving targets in the draft, expect Ryan Pace to target Hardy on either Day 2 or Day 3. 

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