In this 2016 NFL Draft profile, we look at the strengths and weaknesses of tight end Austin Hooper out of Stanford University.
With only two seasons under his belt at Stanford university, many wonder why he left school early for the NFL. Many believe he should of stayed one more season in college to develop his all-around game. He has the potential to be a player that could be a steal in this year’s draft. If he is drafted to the right team and he surrounds himself around the right NFL coaches, he could be one to look out for in the league.
For the tight ends in this year’s draft, Hooper was a top performer in several categories in the 2016 NFL Combine. While he did good for the most part, many scouts and team owners questioned his overall speed and quickness. Unlike most tight ends, Hooper has a tendency to telegraph his routes which makes it easier for teams to cover him.
October 24, 2015; Stanford, CA, USA; Stanford Cardinal tight end Austin Hooper (18, front) scores a touchdown against Washington Huskies defensive back Ezekiel Turner (24, back) during the first quarter at Stanford Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
He has some physical traits that would make any team excited, but when it comes to catching the ball his overall ability never grabs your attention. It will be a question for how good of a player Hooper could be because of just having two years under his belt. If he is able to tweak some things in his game, his speed will be able to come through.
Hooper has some strengths in his game that many organizations will like about him. Most tight ends aren’t able to catch in traffic but with Hooper, he isn’t afraid to put his body on the line and make those tough catches. He has very good eye coordination in looking for the football make good receptions. He is also very good in protecting his body and use it as a shield. He is able to keep his momentum going and is able to keep going after the first hit is made on him.
More from The Jet Press
- NY Jets: Why the team should target cornerback Shaquill Griffin
- NY Jets reportedly non-tendering linebacker Harvey Langi
- NY Jets: Why the team should not cut Jamison Crowder
- NY Jets should try to sign Kenny Golladay in free agency
- NY Jets: Jonnu Smith would be a smart free-agent target
Most players in his position aren’t able to run block but with Hooper he has very good run blocking skills that most teams would want.
He also shows good technique in pass blocking that quarterbacks would love to have to help them avoid getting sacked all the time. He is a good functional player which is one key strength.
He has a tendency of having concentration lapses that gets to him where it will show on the football field. His footwork coming off the line will need some work because his break is very slow to where he can’t help the play develop quick enough. He needs to be more physical with corners as he is too soft against them that might have organizations not want to take a chance on him.
While other tight ends are play makers and are able to make moves to get free, Hooper is being too basic. He needs to learn how to sell his routes and look more than one dimensional. He also needs to learn how to able to catch passes over his shoulder because he seems too comfortable at times during the heat of the moment.
DRAFT DAY PREDICTION
Hooper will likely be drafted in the 2nd round as an early to mid round (32nd-43rd) pick in this year’s draft. Hooper seems like he has the potential to be a very good player but will need to fix some areas of his game in order to be a successful tight end in the NFL. With the right development over time, he should be more than capable of taking his career to the next level.