ECU’s Justin Hardy Selected By Falcons In Fourth Round

ECU's Justin Hardy Selected By Falcons In Fourth Round (Image 1)

East Carolina record-setting wide receiver Justin Hardy was selected by the Atlanta Falcons in the fourth round (107th overall) of the 2015 National Football League Draft Saturday.

Hardy is the ninth ECU receiver in history to be drafted and most recently follows Dwayne Harris, who was taken by the Dallas Cowboys in the sixth round of the 2011 draft.

The Pirates have had at least one player chosen in seven of the last 10 years.

Hardy capped off a stellar collegiate career by becoming the 11th Pirate in school history to earn Associated Press All-America honors (third-team). A unanimous First-Team All-American Athletic Conference selection, Hardy ranked first nationally in receptions per game (9.31), second in total receptions (121) and fourth in receiving yards (1,494) – all program single-season records.

Additionally, he was the recipient of the 2014 Burlsworth Trophy as the nation’s most outstanding player who began his career as a walk-on.

A four-year starter, Hardy caught more passes (387) than any player in NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) history – a record he set against Tulane on Nov. 22 to end his pursuit of former Oklahoma pass catcher Ryan Broyles’ (2008-11) mark of 349.

Hardy, who also owns ECU career records for receiving yards (4,541) and touchdown catches (35), nabbed at least two receptions in all 49 career games played. He caught 10 or more balls during a contest on 15 occasions, surpassed 100 receiving yards 17 times and hauled in at least one scoring pass in 31 outings.

The Vanceboro, N.C. native is the lone Pirate receiver to post three-straight 1,000-yard seasons (1,105 in 2012, 1,284 in 2013, 1,494 in 2014), and against Cincinnati on Nov. 13, 2014, became just the 16th player in FBS history with 4,000-plus receiving yards.

Hardy, who will turn 24 on December 18, joins Harris, Aundrae Allison (Vikings/2007), Troy Smith (Eagles/1999), Larry Shannon (Dolphins/1998), Dion Johnson (Oilers/1992), Walter Wilson (Chargers/1990), Ricky Nichols (Colts/1985) and Tim Dameron (Oilers/1973) on the list of Pirate wide receiver draft picks.

Including Hardy, other Pirates selected by the Falcons include RB Tony Baker (1986) and DE Ernie Logan (1991).

ALL-TIME EAST CAROLINA FOOTBALL DRAFT HISTORY

(year, round, pick, overall pick, name, team, pos)

2015, 4, 8, 107, Justin Hardy, Falcons, WR

2011, 6, 11, 176, Dwayne Harris, Cowboys, WR

2010, 2, 14, 46, Linval Joseph, Giants, DT

2010, 7, 14, 221, Matt Dodge, Giants, P

2010, 7, 23, 230, C.J. Wilson, Packers, DE

2009, 5, 13, 149, Davon Drew, Ravens, TE

2008, 1, 24, 24, Chris Johnson, Titans, RB

2007, 5, 9, 146, Aundrae Allison, Vikings, WR

2006, 4, 32, 129, Guy Whimper, Giants, OT

2004, 7, 45, 246, Brian Rimpf, Ravens, OT

2002, 4, 10, 108, David Garrard, Jaguars, QB

2002, 7, 30, 241, Leonard Henry, Dolphins, RB

1999, 5, 20, 153, Roderick Coleman, Raiders, DE

1999, 6, 32, 201, Troy Smith, Eagles, WR

1998, 3, 21, 82, Larry Shannon, Dolphins, WR

1997, 5, 1, 131, Lamont Burns, Jets, OG

1996, 4, 16, 111, Emmanuel McDaniel, Panthers, DB

1996, 5, 2, 134, Jerris McPhail, Dolphins, RB

1994, 6, 4, 165, Bernard Carter, Buccaneers, LB

1994, 7, 8, 202, Carlester Crumpler, Jr., Seahawks, TE

1993, 6, 8, 148, Tom Scott, Bengals, OT

1992, 1, 24, 24, Robert Jones, Cowboys, LB

1992, 6, 26, 166, Jeff Blake, Jets, QB

1992, 8, 14, 210, Luke Fisher, Vikings, TE

1992, 9, 26, 250, Chris Hall, Cowboys, DB

1992, 10, 22, 274, Dion Johnson, Oilers, WR

1991, 9, 3, 226, Ernie Logan, Falcons, DE

1990, 3, 14, 67, Walter Wilson, Chargers, WR

1990, 5, 1, 110, Junior Robinson, Patriots, DB

1990, 7, 14, 179, James Singletary, Colts, LB

1990, 10, 27, 275, Anthony Thompson, Broncos, LB

1988, 8, 5, 198, Anthony Simpson, Buccaneers, RB

1988, 10, 4, 253, Ellis Dillahunt, Bengals, DB

1986, 6, 27, 165, Kevin Walker, Buccaneers, DB

1986, 10, 3, 252, Tony Baker, Falcons, RB

1985, 3, 24, 80, Stefon Adams, Raiders, DB

1985, 8, 4, 200, Ricky Nichols, Colts, WR

1984, 2, 27, 55, Steve Hamilton, Redskins, DE

1984, 4, 27, 111, Terry Long, Steelers, OG

1984, 5, 3, 115, Clint Harris, Giants, DB

1984, 5, 13, 125, Jeff Pegues, Redskins, LB

1984, 5, 21, 133, Hal Stephens, Rams, DE

1984, 10, 1, 253, Norwood Vann, Rams, TE

1984, 10, 28, 280, Earnest Byner, Browns, RB

1984, 11, 4, 284, John Robertson, Eagles, OT

1983, 2, 18, 46, Jody Schulz, Eagles, LB

1982, 4, 2, 85, George Crump, Patriots, DE

1982, 4, 7, 90, Tootie Robbins, Cardinals, OT

1981, 2, 19, 47, Tony Collins, Patriots, RB

1980, 11, 11, 288, Sam Harrell, Vikings, RB

1980, 12, 9, 314, Mike Brewington, Chiefs, LB

1979, 2, 28, 56, Zack Valentine, Steelers, LB

1979, 6, 21, 158, Eddie Hicks, Giants, RB

1978, 6, 28, 166, Harold Randolph, Cowboys, LB

1977, 6, 27, 166, Reggie Pinkney, Lions, DB

1974, 4, 2, 80, Carl Summerell, Giants, QB

1974, 4, 17, 95, Carlester Crumpler, Bills, RB

1973, 16, 1, 391, Tim Dameron, Oilers, WR

1973, 17, 22, 438, Leslie Strayhorn, Cowboys, RB

1969, 17, 1, 417, Wayne Lineberry, Bills, LB

1964, 14, 5, 187, Tom Michel, Vikings, RB

1961, 5, 8, 64, Glenn Bass, Cardinals, TE

1951, 28, 12, 339, Roger Thrift, Browns, QB

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