Drew Boylhart February 2008

James Hardy   WR   Indiana



James is a tall, long-legged WR who has good hands and deceiving speed.  He is a big body WR, but donít be fooled -- he is not just a possession WR as his size might suggest.  This kid can get deep and when he gets deep, he can catch the ball.  He reminds me of Plaxico Burress (WR Garden State Giants), but without the skirt.  James has a bit of a nasty steak in him and he wants the ball.  He wants to be the focal point of a teamís passing offense.  He likes the double team and takes it on as a challenge.  This kid has not reached his potential yet and looks like he is a very smart player who understands situational football.  Remember think of Plaxico (without the skirt) and thatís the type of potential James has to impact at the next level. 


James might be a handful to coach because he looks like the type of kid that if he has no respect for you as a coach, he will not listen to you.  That could cause problems with the chemistry of a team very much like Randy Moss has.  Until Randy went to the Patriots, he affected his own career and the careers of others because of his immaturity and inability to rise above his problems.  James is not very quick off the line, but he really doesnít need to be.  I would not use him to run a reverse, but thatís not a reason not to draft him.  He gains speed as he goes down the field and the longer he is in a route, the harder it is to stay with him.  Right now, he needs to improve his blocking, but again, that is not a big issue -- he will improve. 



I have no real proof that James might cause the same problems at the next level as Randy Moss did earlier in his career.  Itís just a gut feeling from the way he handles himself in interviews.  He seems like a no nonsense guy who has problems with people who are not very good at their jobs, but are hanging on to their jobs by fooling people into thinking they are competent when they are not.  James has all the talent to impact at the next level just like Randy Moss or a Plaxico Burress.  The only thing that I feel could hold him back is himself.  I pity the teams in the same division as the Colts if they get a chance to draft this kid because, if a smart team with a smart coach and smart QB draft this kid, he has the potential to break all the WR records there are to break.  He has that type of talent and he can still improve.  James, in my opinion, is a top ten talent in this draft.  I am not going to label him with a maturity tag because, on the field, I donít see anything to suggest that he is a problem at all in this area.  I also donít believe there are any character issues off the field although I can tell you that I did not check too hard.  I know I would not hesitate to draft him in the top ten and I donít believe anyone else will either.  I think if you draft James, treat him like a man and show him respect.  Then make him the focal point of your passing offense and you are going to have a hell of a #1 WR for years to come.  As Aretha said in her song, R.E.S.P.E.C.T. -- James needs to find out what it means because once he finds out, James will figure out that respect works both ways!