East Carolina University held their Pro Day today. It was rainy, but one Backyard Baller shined. Garnering most of the media’s attention and the reason that the event was arguably the most widely attended by NFL scouts in school history, Justin Hardy continued his campaign for the NFL draft. From most accounts, he only increased his value by running a 4.4s/40yd dash according the former ECU Pirate.
The event was cut short by a downpour, but I weathered the storm and was able to fish out some good information from the NFL prospect. Hardy confirmed that the Panthers have contacted him. Another source suggested that the Panthers could be meeting with Hardy sometime this weekend.
I also tracked down Carolina Panthers team scout, Robert Haines (coincidentally an ECU alum), and asked him what he was looking for at events like this and if the team liked Hardy. Haines stated, he was looking for “fast guys,” and that the Panthers did “like” Hardy. Haynes was friendly, but he wasn’t going to give up much information. I pushed a little bit asking what Hardy’s time was, and he confirmed Hardy’s strong show, stating “it was about the same as the combine.” Haines time sounded a little more conservative than Hardy’s, but teams aren’t going to be drafting Hardy because he’s a burner. They’ll draft him because, as Hardy described when asked what he did well on the field, he “catching the ball, route running, blocking, all the things a great receiver can do.”
It's exciting to have confirmed interest from the Panthers in Hardy. C3 began the campaign for Hardy to Carolina last season. Admittedly, there's some bias for the all-time FBS reception leader because he's an ECU Pirate (I'm an alum), but it's even cooler to find out their may be a little of the ECU love within the Panthers organization. I mean, the team scout is a Pirate alum as well.