The Facts: Matt Ryan singled out Hardy again, and for good reason. Hardy looks fluid and catches the ball so well. Ryan threw a perfectly placed deep ball that Hardy caught in stride down the sideline during 1-on-1 drills.
Diehards Line: The rookie fourth-round draft pick from East Carolina appears confident and obviously can catch the ball. He set the record for most career receptions in FBS history last season. Hardy played in 63 games for the Pirates and finished his career with 387 catches for 4,541 yards and 35 touchdowns. He broke the record against Tulane last season in a 34-6 victory. He moved past the previous record of 349 set by Oklahoma’s Ryan Broyles in 2011. Once he starts to get more opportunities, we’ll see just how much of an impact he might have as possibly the team’s primary slot receiver. AJC.com’s D. Orlando Ledbetter believes Hardy is a legitimate candidate to take over the No. 3 role left open when Harry Douglas left via free agency this offseason. If that’s the case, Hardy could be much more productive than other higher-profile rookies.