Austin Hooper 2016 NFL Draft Profile

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Overview

Position: Tight End
Height: 6’4″
Weight: 254 lbs
School: Stanford Cardinal

Combine Performance Data

40-yard dash: 4.68 seconds
Bench Press: 19 reps
Vertical Jump: 33 inches
Three-cone drill: 7 seconds

Austin Hooper 2016 NFL Draft Profile

After a two-year playing career at Stanford, redshirt sophomore Austin Hooper elected to forego his two remaining years of eligibility and enter the 2016 NFL Draft.

Hooper was a four-star recruit out of California and national high school powerhouse De La Salle. A dynamic two-way player for the Spartans, Hooper played strong-side defensive end in addition to tight end, recording 39 tackles and eight sacks to go along with 11 catches and 293 yards as a senior. That year, De La Salle would finish 15-0 and ranked number one in the country according to MaxPreps with Hooper serving as team captain.

“He’s one of the best defensive linemen in the state and one of the best blocking tight ends we’ve ever had. He’s going to be special [at Stanford].” — former De La Salle head coach Bob Ladouceur on Hooper

 

Hooper had the potential to play on defense at Stanford, but made his college debut as a redshirt freshman in 2014 against UC Davis, registering four catches for 63 yards and a touchdown. He would appear in all 13 games for the Cardinal while starting ten. He ended the season with 40 catches for 499 yards and two touchdowns while being named All-Pac-12 second team.

His debut season would not go unnoticed as he started 2015 with preseason first-team All-Pac-12 honors from ESPN and Athlon Sports. His 34 catches for 438 yards and six touchdowns made him the third leading receiver on the team. He would earn third team All-American honors from the Associated Press and was a finalist for the John Mackey Award.

Strengths

  • Complete player for the position.
  • Greatly contributes to the run game as a blocking tight end.
  • Faster than he looks; able to get separation from defenders.
  • Good size, strength and length.
  • Has big play ability as a pass catcher.

Weaknesses

  • Though not necessarily a high target option in college, had several dropped passes at Stanford.
  • Needs to improve burst towards the end of his routes.
  • Would need to improve hands but this will come in more targets at the NFL level.
  • Has room to improve as a run blocker to maintain consistency.

NFL Comparison: Zach Ertz, Philadelphia Eagles

Teams with need at position: Houston Texans, New York Jets, San Diego Chargers, Green Bay Packers, Arizona Cardinals

Projection: Second round

Bottom Line

In recent years we have seen greater emphasis on the tight end position in the NFL. No longer just a blocking position, tight ends are now one of the biggest assets in the passing game, exemplified by players such as Rob Gronkowski and Jimmy Graham to name a few. But a tight end that can contribute in the pass game and benefit the ground game as well is just as important in an ever changing NFL. With his skill set as both a blocker and pass catcher, Austin Hooper is a highly valuable prospect in the 2016 NFL Draft who will contribute to the league for many years to come.

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