The Facts: Hardy, who finished his rookie season with 21 catches on 36 targets for 194 yards and no touchdowns, needs to work on creating separation from defenders against man-to-man coverage. "As an inside player you want to beat man-to-man someway on third down," HC Dan Quinn said. "That's generally what you have to be able to do. If you're playing inside leverage, how do I step to get you to work and open up one way so I can come back the other way. That ability to separate and beat man-to-man is going to be an important part of his development. He worked really hard at it over the last half of the season a great deal."
Diehards Line: Hardy, who was drafted it the fourth-round (107th overall) of the 2015 draft out of East Carolina, was not active at the beginning of the season because he was learning how to read a pro-styled playbook. He ended up playing in nine games and made one start. The Falcons were pleased with Hardy's play on special teams. More recently, Hardy attended the players-only camp Florida at the end of March. "Justin looked great," QB Matt Ryan said. Ryan believes that Hardy can drastically improve his play. But the arrival of Mohamed Sanu -- specifically the newcomer's high-end contract -- make him the most likely candidate with Hardy appearing to be better suited to a No. 3 role (although that could change).