When the Atlanta Falcons released veteran wide receiver Harry Douglas this off-season, I was disappointed. Sure, his contract number was a bit prohibitive. And sure, that's his agent's fault for negotiating a backloaded contract. But Douglas was reliable in spurts. If he wasn't mysteriously tripping, singing the praises of female deodorant, or injured, Douglas was a decent third or fourth option in the receiving game.
Douglas' absence created a void, one the Falcons quickly filled with the addition of rookie WR Justin Hardy. Hardy was drafted in the fourth round and stands to have an immediate impact on the team; per 247Sports' Brian Jones, he could be their "secret weapon."
The answer is simple. It's always good to have a plethora of weapons on offense, but Hardy is a weapon that no one will be talking about until the 2015 season gets rolling and makes plays ... [b]ut being overlooked is nothing new to Hardy. In fact, East Carolina did not offer him a scholarship his freshman year. He made his way on the team as a walk-on, but earned a scholarship the following season. From there, he became the NCAA's career all-time reception leader, and was awarded the Burlsworth Trophy which is given to the most outstanding player who started his career as a walk-on.
In other words, Hardy is quite accustomed to a lack of star treatment. I don't know him personally, but if I had to guess, it's a huge motivating force for the young Eastern Carolina alum. Let teams overlook him - it will only benefit the Falcons.
So what are your thoughts about Hardy? How long will he be the Falcons "secret weapon"?