The Raiders announced that they had signed potential TE Andre Hardy, late yesterday.
Hardy is very much a developmental prospect, having not played football in college. He did play basketball, for the last two years at Cal State Fullerton, as a power forward.
The Raiders will be hoping that Hardy can transition from a basketball background to be a pass catching TE, much like Antonio Gates did with the Chargers.
The Raiders already have three TEs on the roster – Brandon Myers, David Ausberry, and Richard Gordon.
Hardy is 6'5" and 250 lbs and reportedly runs a 40 yard dash in about 4.7 seconds.
He is probably most like Ausberry, who was a WR in college. Ausberry is not considered a strong blocker and it's likely that Hardy won't be either, as it's a learned skill.
Richard Gordon is primarily a blocker and Myers was drafted as a blocking TE and while he is a better receiver than initially thought, it's not a strong suit for him.
The contract terms have not been disclosed but it is reportedly a 3 year contract. While that doesn't mean anything unless there is guaranteed money it does indicate that they are interested in him for a longer term if he can show he has the potential to be an impact player.
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Another reeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeach. Nobody likes blue collar guys more than me - I wear a Biletnikoff jersey to the games - but you need some players to go with those grinders.
yes spartacus, just like Veldheer WAS GOING TO SUCK because he played division II college football... remember that?
and yes, because playing a lot of college ball ALWAYS TRANSLATES into the NFL... LMAO .. tell that to Antonio Gates. he only played basketball through college. tell me i'm lying. it can be done if you have the drive to succeed and can take a hit. if his route running improves, the hands are already there.
we don't know quite yet what we have in Ausberry. he's still a project. both of these guys are. there's nothing wrong with competition.
he's a practice squad development player, plain and simple. he's a cheap signing and could turn into something someday. Reggie is doing just fine.. getting his "head examined" is going a little too far guy.
What a bizarre signing....If McKenzie thinks this kid can be the second comming of Ausberry, then he needs his head checked...Ausberry played at a Division 1 powerhouse in college and faced the toughest of competition. Ausberry knows what it is like to compete at a high level, and take the punishing hits that comes with his position. Hardy has no idea what is in store for him, and after taking one catch up the middle in practice and being leveled by one of our defenders, he will have a huge wakeup call. McKenzie would have been better off giving a guy with some kind of college football experience a (3) year contract instead of a basketball player. And by the way, Football is a hell of a lot tougher sport than basketball, and catching a ball up the middle with a defender about to knock your head off is tougher than catching an alley-oop.....
i do realize however that Graham had a tremendous last year in college as a bigtime redzone threat... catching 14 TDs on 17 catches... whereas this kid has ZERO experience... but with good route running skills and good hands... it can definitely happen over time.
Gordon will be switched to FB with this signing.
go look up his workout/pass catching video.. he's very fluid in his motions and has some fabulous looking hands. at 6'5, he can create mismatches everywhere, much like Graham does. i love how people down on it by saying he only runs a 4.7 40 yard dash. okay kids, go tell that to Gates and Witten... they're considered slower TE's ... it's all about finding the open space in the flat for the first down... something you LEARN VERY WELL as a basketball player.. finding the open spots is a trait for a power forward... much like a TE.
@xraided What you are forgetting about Veldheer is that he was the dominant player in his position in Division (2) football. Plus, he played (4) years of competitive collegiate football prior to being drafted, so for you to say we all thought he was going to suck, is absolutely rediculous... Get your phrasing straight...Veldheer was worthy of his draft selection, regardless of what some pundits, or you have us trying to believe...... Trying to compare Hardy to Antonio Gates is a reach, and you have to honestly ask yourself, how many Gates type success stories are out there??? Not many. Can you name any others??? Others that have a strictly basketball background and didn't play any collegiate football??? I can't... This signing is a reach, no matter what your arguement is, and to me, it would make more common sense to sign a player with collegiate football experience, as Hardy's learning curve is going to be way behind that of any other player, plus he hasn't taken the reps that the average collegiate football player has. Athleticism can only get you so far in this league my friend...
@Spartacus and BTW, if a small receiver can take a lights out hit from a SS, so can a 6'5, 250 lbs guy. of course we know nothing about him, that's why he'll be on the practice squad for a while.
want another example? look at Pryor. his career stats EXPLODE on the page... yet he's still considered a RAW talent and probably won't be ready for a backup role just yet. we can easily go the other way where a guy discovers he's a born football player rather than a basketball player, and tare up the league day 1! Gates did for the most part. the guy is a HOF NFL football player that played college hoops in the beginning of his career, even in high school.
@xraided Witten ran a 4.67 and i think Gates was a 4.60, so definately not the fastest dashers in the game! Besides, the 40-yard dash is without pads and is very much influenced by the technique, so his game speed might be better than the time would suggest!
And good point on the PF strengths, as they are definately useable for a catching TE! He will no doubt have a good vision and feel for the opponents, so if he can put it all together he could be a surprise competitor!
.. Probably still a long shot to come in and make a difference, but a low risk high reward one that is definately worth taking and could pay dividends if it all claps!
Don't think Gordon will primarily be the FB though - neither Aussey or (presumeably) Hardy are blocking TE's, and Myers are definately not dominant despite being a supposed blocking TE! Think he will serve as our blocking TE, especially in 2 TE sets, and as reserve FB in certain packages..
not comparing anything smart guy... haha! i actually said that... learn to read a bit. i said ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE. Gates played no football at all, and worked his ass off to become what he is today... why can't Hardy do it smart guy?
Jimmy Graham played 1 year of college ball. it's fair to say he didn't have "4 years of college play" , right? ... yes he tore it up that one year, something Hardy hasn't proven on any level, but to say he's a stupid signing is ridiculous. now Brees has helped him be the #1 TE in the NFL. Palmer could help him do the same if the kid really wants to.
my phrasing? LMAO. you don't even know what that means. you just don't understand a GM's way of thinking. you said Veldheer was a REACH and was going to take a long time to develop because of his division II play. i'll go back and find it if you'd like. boy were you wrong.. and can't own up to it. i've admitted being wrong about him and DHB both... something you can't do.
the mere fact that you're complaining and whining about a FREE PICK is hilarious. you're the only one down on this low risk, high reward signing. it's called DEPTH kid, learn it. thanks.
JUST athleticism? LOL ... you haven't seen his tape.. he has more than that.
you can't tell me there isn't potential there. you're a 6'5 monster that can work on route running(like DHB did, right?!) ... with very good hands and location of the ball over your head.
HARD WORK AND PREPARATION got DHB a thousand yards last year... limited TD's yes, something he needs to work on. but he was about to be out of the league, and became a legit NFL wideout instead... because of dedication. tell me i'm wrong, thanks.
@Spartacus But you're forgetting one thing though Spart; Hardy comes in straight away and can be evaluated now, any rookies will first arrive after the draft!
... Reggie was presumably intrigued by his physique, and as we have a need at the position where he might fit, they brought him in to get an extended look! If he doesn't project well into football they will see it soon enough and he will not be kept going forward! IF he does surprise, he will be kept to compete through preseason to see if he actually has what it takes to develop true football skills!
I see it as a no risk signing, and he will only take up a spot if he really shows that he has a special talent and great potential! Otherwise he will be a practice player no one will remember in a couple of months!
@Harder2000 practice squad developmental player. that's what they're shooting for. but you never know... some of the hook routes he ran on his video could prove very useful. if the ball is already flying at his face before he turns around... 1st down Raiders! guys like this are hard to stop because of how big they are.
it really depends on him taking a hit and surviving the hazing he'll surely get from the actual football players on the team fighting for a roster spot. a basketball player switching to the NFL will not go over well with them. he survives that and develops on the PS, then we could be in business. i'm all for trying anything rather than depending on Ausberry, Gord, and Myers.. that's fo damn sho.
@Raidah You are absolutely right. Hostilities should be saved for the "other" fans. However, I have been dealing with this lunatic "Darkkush" for a long time, and he is like a tick, a bloodsucker who contributes to nothing except bizarre and off the wall rants. Kushy can't handle anyone disagreeing with him, so he resorts to his personal attacks. Definitely not a class act....
@xraided Kush, you are a wannabe "gangsta" with absolutely no class. I bet in real life you are the biggest pussy. Listening to your spewed garbage is pathetic, and I bet you have never played a down of football in your life, except on Madden. You are like the wind, Kushy, you blow in every direction........Nice chatting with you loser.....
@xraided @Spartacus I like both points here but can we save the hostility for the 'other' fans, lol. Different pov are always good, we can always agree to dis agree :-)
just shuttup and watch them.
he has the same chance to succeed as anyone with a dedication to the craft. obviously he has that, he gave up a possible basketball career to play a completely different sport. that's ballsy in itself.
that's the bottom line here. POTENTIAL. that's all i EVER said. and suddenly you think i'm comparing him to Gates? childish.
@Spartacus @xraided no actually i treat everyone here with respect. been here a lot longer than you have, BTW... going on since the 07-08 season. i changed my name because this is more raider like, and is one of my favorite Bay Area rappers. keep tryin to dog me on it... cmon now... it's pathetic...
you constantly come on here thinking you're smarter than an NFL GM. when you get proven wrong you get angry... plain and simple.
i didn't PREACH anything about him numbnutz! HAHA man you're idiotic. i JUST STATED A FACT that you bash on guys like these constantly without even knowing who they are. that's straight up NONSENSE coming out of you. sick of it... i stated more facts by saying HE WILL BE ON THE PRACTICE SQUAD TO DEVELOP... much like Reece did... get it yet?
you are the only one acting like a know it all... it's a debate on here guy, you think the same way as i do.. Mr. ArmChair GM. i just come up with certain facts that you cannot deny so you start picking the fights.
get lost dweeb. you've been served.
@xraided I finally figured out who you are xraided. My old pal, darkkush. Wow, I see that you are still the same rambling know it all, who likes to try to intimidate bloggers with his insane babbling, and "witty" commentary. I know now not to respond to any more of your rhetoric after this, as you were not worth talking to as Darkkush and are not worth talking to as xraided....You are the man, Kush, and go ahead and preach how Hardy is going to be the second comming of Gates. Just remind us of that when the guy gets a taste of real football competition and doesn't make the team. Oh yeah, you will say something like, "I knew it was a mistake to sign him..." BandwagonKush. Always a pleasure...NOT......
resigning Branch will save them money this year... and Reggie is waiting for that so he can pounce on more FA's on the first cuts from other ballclubs. you get real value there as well...
you just have to get used to the no big signings like VJ for example... the man is grossly overpaid in TB... he's good, but he's not that good. signing blue collar guys to build your core with is the BEST way to go. it's hard to argue otherwise. that's what Reggie is doing here... this man will go CRAZY in the UDFA market... i'm willing to bet he'll land a few. this is just but a taste of the young, hungry kids and crafty veterans alike that have FOOTBALL INTELLIGENCE that are willing to learn. you just wait and see.
@Spartacus @Harder2000 they don't have money though. you aren't paying attention to Reggie's words are you? yea, they can go over the cap, but why be strapped? they have to resign a number of our home grown players... which include Branch, Veldheer, even DMC(can't let go a talent like that, sorry) ... he is thinking of the future, something Mr. Davis rarely did.. obviously.
if Hardy can take punishment mentally and physically day in and day out, then he's going to at very least be a backup in this league. someone that'll dress on sunday's... for a guy that didn't cost the raiders one sliver of a dime ... it makes it a no brainer
and it's not like other teams were intrigued by his skills as well.. they attended his workout in San Diego ... the Raiders wanted to take a FLIER on him. they will be rewarded me thinks.
@Harder2000 Good point...I just firmly believe that it is so important for a player to have at least (2) years of college football to make a successful transition into the NFL. Obviously, there is going to be a few talented players that will be the exception to the rule, so to say, but they are few and far between, and the odds favor guys who have played competitive collegiate football. I just think the Raiders would be better spending their money on a free agent prospect with a football background, than gambling on a college basketball player.