One of the players competing to take those snaps is Mecole Hardman. The 2019 second-round pick has great speed that he has put to use as a receiver and returner over his first two seasons, but hasn’t separated himself from other candidates to take on more work with Watkins now in Baltimore.
Hardman’s goal over the coming weeks is to create that separation by showing quarterback Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs coaches that he’s capable of making a big impact offensively.
“It’s probably one of my most important seasons,” Hardman said, via Adam Teicher of ESPN.com. “I think it’s up to me personally to do what I need to do and take advantage of every opportunity that’s given to me and gain the trust of the coaches, the rest of the staff and Pat and my teammates and just show them I can be a viable asset every Sunday or whatever day we’re playing on. It’s kind of that time to just take those challenges head on and try to prove myself.”
Hardman’s early camp work has Mahomes talking about a “completely different” level of maturity from the wideout and thinks that bodes well for the wideout taking “his game to another level” this season. If that’s the case, the Chiefs offense should remain a difficult one for defenses to stop.