The Chiefs selected Georgia‘s Mecole Hardman in the second round with the 56th overall pick on Friday. They traded up in the round to select him, sending picks Nos. 61 and 167 to the Los Angeles Rams.
Hardman is a burner in the mold of Hill. He ran a 4.33 40-yard dash at the NFL scouting combine.
“We like, obviously, his speed, but he’s more than that,” Chiefs coach Andy Reid said. “He can play inside. He can play outside. He did both at Georgia. And then he’s a phenomenal returner, arguably the best returner in the draft.”
Hardman might well be the replacement for Hill. The Chiefs on Thursday barred Hill from offseason activities after audio surfaced of Hill and his fiancée discussing how their 3-year-old son broke his arm.
The Johnson County (Kansas) District Attorney’s office has reopened a criminal case investigating Hill’s possible involvement in how the injury occurred.
But Reid indicated the Chiefs would have drafted Hardman regardless of Hill’s situation.
“This is somebody [GM Brett Veach] had his eye on from the get-go,” Reid said. “It doesn’t have anything to do with things going on right now.”