Finding Broncos: Scouting Stanford TE Austin Hooper

Wrapping up tight ends, MHH Draft Analyst Erick Trickel takes a look at a Stanford Cardinal. He is one of the top-three tight ends in the class, but does he fit the Broncos?

http://www.scout.com/player/163150-austin-hooper?s=101&year=2015

Combine Results

40-YARD DASH: 4.72 SEC

BENCH PRESS: 19 REPS

VERTICAL JUMP: 33.0 INCH

BROAD JUMP: 117.0 INCH

3-CONE DRILL: 7.00 SEC

20-YARD SHUTTLE: 4.32 SEC

60-YARD SHUTTLE: 11.93 SEC

Pros

  • Can play from multiple spots on offense
  • Is a threat down the seam
  • Constantly looks for defenders down the field as a blocker
  • Drives through his blocks
  • Hands catcher
  • Willing blocker
  • Stanford demands their TEs to block & constantly improve blocking technique, which shows with Hooper
  • Has enough burst to get sudden separation from linebackers and safeties
  • Excellent hand-eye coordination
  • Can block defenders from getting to the ball when in the process of making the catch
  • Strong after the catch, especially in the screen game

Cons

  • Footwork is a work in progress
  • Needs to get better at making the contested catch
  • Route running is a mess
  • Small catch radius for his size
  • Has to keep his head up as a blocker. Ducked his head and whiffed too many blocks
  • Nine drops over two seasons, which was nearly an 11% drop rate
  • Needs to get more physical as a blocker and receiver
  • Has room to add to his frame
  • Has to get strong
  • Technique all around needs to get better
  • Limited ceiling

Overall Thoughts

There is a lot to like with Hooper, but he barely cracks my top five. Only reason he does is because of his ability as a blocker. If he can’t improve his hands and route running, he will be a blocking tight end only. Now blocking tight ends are not someone to turn your nose up to, but teams want versatility from their tight end corps, which will hurt Hooper’s value overall.

As for the Denver Broncos, they already have Virgil Green, who hasn’t been able to become more than a blocking tight end, outside of a catch here and there. Denver needs the help of a receiving tight end sooner than a blocking tight end. Hooper should be on their board, but not where he will likely go.

Broncos Round Projection: Late 4th/Early 5th

Where He Goes: Early-Late 3rd

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Erick Trickel in an Analyst for MileHighHuddle. You can find him on Twitter @Alaskan_Bronco. And be sure to like MileHighHuddle on Facebook

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