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Bills Draft Busts, No. 7: WR James Hardy

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With the 2011 NFL Draft quickly approaching, we thought it'd be a good idea to run down the Buffalo Bills' ten biggest draft successes and failures. I decided at the last minute to make this an "of my lifetime" series, meaning that the only busts and gems that you'll see listed here every day were picked in 1985 or after.

In James Hardy's second career NFL game - a Week 2 road win over Jacksonville in 2008 - he caught a game-winning touchdown pass in the back corner of the end zone from Trent Edwards. This was the only highlight in Hardy's career with the Bills, but it was a pretty good one, all things considered.

Hardy was a second-round pick (No. 41 overall) out of Indiana in the 2008 NFL Draft, and was drafted because the team had a need for a size complement to Lee Evans at the No. 2 receiver spot. He tore an ACL in his rookie season, causing him to miss the bulk of his second season. He was released during final roster cuts coming out of his first training camp with Chan Gailey, and finished his career in Buffalo with 10 receptions, 96 yards and two touchdowns.

Since his release, Hardy has landed with Baltimore on a reserve/future deal. Meanwhile, his 2008 draft classmate, Stevie Johnson, has emerged as the type of dynamic receiving threat the team had hoped Hardy would be. All was not lost, then, in 2008.

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