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Andy Reid was happy with initial look at Mecole Hardman

This weekend marked Reid’s first opportunity to work closely with the rookie wide receiver.

NCAA Football: CFP National Championship Game-Alabama vs Georgia Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

The Kansas City Chiefs’ three-day rookie minicamp marked head coach Andy Reid’s first opportunity to work with the team’s top 2019 draft pick—wide receiver Mecole Hardman, who the Chiefs selected with the 56th overall pick in the second round of the NFL Draft.

Many agree that Hardman is the Chiefs’ insurance policy at the wide receiver position with questions still surrounding Tyreek Hill, though the 21-year-old rookie distanced himself from any such comparison when he spoke to the media on Saturday.

Over the three days, Reid’s major takeaway when it came to Hardman is that he is teachable, which will be critical to him being a contributor on offense in year one.

“Every day, [he] got a little better,” Reid said of Hardman. “These routes are new to him. He did a nice job in the red zone, which normally is the toughest place to work but he did extremely well there. He had a good finish.”

Reid also appreciated the progress Hardman showed when it came to plays in the open field.

“We run the dagger routes, 20-yard routes and coming in with speed,” Reid said. “And you have to have speed but you also have to have a feel. The first one he ran was brutal—I mean brutal. Then he comes back and you see the second and third one, and every time he did it, it got better, and I’d tell you that with most of the routes that he ran.

“That’s what I’m looking for—those [routes] that they haven’t had to run that all of a sudden now they’re given, and to be able to work within whatever God’s given [them]— the speed and quickness.”

With minicamp over, Hardman and the other rookies will depart for a week, then rejoin the team for the final week of phase two. As a reminder, phase two consists of on-field workouts, which may include individual player instruction and drills as well as team practice.

NCAA Football: Georgia Tech at Georgia Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

“They come back—they’re in that last week of phase two,” Reid explained. “Well, the rest of the guys (veterans) are deep in it. So [Hardman’s] got to do some catch-up work and get caught up with some of the routes that we weren’t putting in for this camp, and take a look at those.”

And with there still being little clarity when it comes to Hill’s 2019 status, it is trial by fire for Hardman.

“You got to throw it at him—somewhere he’s got to go,” Reid said. “[Hardman’s] extremely smart, so he should be able to handle it.”

Phase three workouts (OTAs) begin May 21, with the next Chiefs media availability scheduled for Thursday, May 23.

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