Justin Hardee knew he would have to put his head down and work in order to prove himself in the NFL. The 6-foot-1 wide receiver made the switch from offense to defense when he entered the league as an undrafted free agent. He had 72 catches for 841 yards at Illinois, but was willing to make whatever changes were necessary in order to make it to the next level. Five days after the Houston Texans waived Hardee in 2017, the New Orleans Saints picked him up and added him to the practice squad, 16 days after that, Hardee was on the Saints active roster as a defensive back.
In his rookie season, Hardee had nine special teams tackles, plus one in the postseason, and one blocked punt.
Best Game: In only his sixth week on the active roster, Hardee blocked a punt and recovered it for a seven-yard touchdown against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The rookie was later named as the NFC Special Teams Player of the Week for his performance.
Best Quote:"Attitude. Effort. Heart. You don't really need all the tools, you don't need to be the fastest guy. Of course, you have to be tough. (But) you have to have that grit, you've got to have that want-to, you have to have that go-get-it. Some guys just want to play offense or defense. I know my role on this team and I'm willing to help my team do whatever to win.
Best Social Post:
See the best moments from Saints defensive back Justin Hardee throughout the 2017 season.