Though he played primarily at defensive tackle, Hardison was a terror off the edge when lined up at defensive end. The 6'3", 307-pounder led ASU with 10 sacks and 15 tackles for loss to go with 53 tackles this past season. Hardison also had three forced fumbles, two interceptions and a fumble recovery.
At his Pro Day, Hardison clocked in 4.8s in the 40-yard dash, ran the short shuttle in 4.65 seconds and 3 cone drill in 7.29 seconds. All of those are very fast for any defensive lineman, let alone someone who will play on the interior in the NFL.
In terms of draft value, this was one of Cincinnati's better picks based on where Hardison was ranked in pre-draft projections.
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Interview with House of Sparky on Marcus Hardison
We spoke with Kaelen Jones, a columnist and writer at House of Sparky, SB Nation's Arizona State site. Jones provided some information on one of the Bengals' fourth round draft picks, defensive tackle, Marcus Hardison who spent two years at ASU after attending junior college.
- NFL.com's Lance Zierlein was very high on Hardison, giving him a Round 2 or 3 projection and the 67th-overall prospect. Zierlein had him ranked ahead of Tyler Kroft (163rd) and Josh Shaw (91st), both of whom Cincinnati selected before Hardison.
- ESPN's Mel Kiper had him 85th in his final rankings.
- Todd McShay tabbed Hardison as his 116th-best prospect.
- Bleacher Report's Matt Miller had him ranked as his 107th-best prospect.
- CBS Sports had Hardison ranked as their No. 101 prospect, 34 spots ahead of where Cincinnati drafted him.
- Mocking the Draft ranked Hardison 92nd overall.
If you average all six of those rankings, Hardison had a draft ranking of 94.67, 40 spots ahead of where the Bengals drafted him. This was easily one of the biggest steals Cincinnati got in this year's draft in terms of where the draft experts had Hardison ranked.
Making the pick even better is that Hardison fills a gaping hole in the defense. While it's unclear if he'll spend more time at DE or DT, his pass-rushing ability is something the line desperately needed, and Cincinnati got it with one of their best picks in this year's draft.