Mecole Hardman
Will Mecole Hardman ever become more than just a gadget guy? Right now, he’s nothing more than Tyreek Hill insurance. (Dale Zanine/USA TODAY Sports)

When the Kansas City Chiefs drafted Mecole Hardman, he was supposed to be insurance for Tyreek Hill. The Chiefs star wide receiver was facing domestic violence charges for the second time, and his career looked like it was in jeopardy. KC drafted Hardman in case that came to fruition.

Of course, we now know it did not. Hill is playing and has since received a $54 million extension. Kansas City also has Sammy Watkins and DeMarcus Robinson on the roster. So, where does that leave Hardman?

Hardman was an exciting prospect out of the University of Georgia. He fit the Hill profile. Small, fast, and explosive. The problem is, he hasn’t been much more than a gadget guy. After being reduced to mostly return duties as a rookie, there was hope that Hardman would emerge as a big part of the offense in year two. If Week 1 was any indication of Hardman’s role, it’s that they still don’t trust.

Sure, the Chiefs have a ton of options. However, shouldn’t Hardman be able to top the likes of Watkins and Robinson? The former Georgia product was on the field for 28 percent of the offensive snaps in Week 1. Forget about being a role player in the Chiefs offense; Hardman is a nobody right now.

So what’s the plan here? If Hardman is just insurance for Hill and nothing more? Did the Chiefs only use a second-round pick on a guy to return kicks and serve as a backup? If Week 1 is any indication, it’s going to be a lot more of one catch for six-yards Sundays.

Hardman looks like a player with a ton of talent. For whatever reason, Andy Reid is not using him. Maybe we shouldn’t panic over Week 1, but how much longer should we wait for Hardman to take a step towards breakout status? It’s starting to feel like it might never happen.