New York Giants have not had a breakout star at the tight end position since Jeremy Shockey. Shockey’s size and athleticism made the Giants select him 14th overall in 2002. In this year’s NFL draft, a tight end prospect resembles Shockey in many ways. Virginia Tech's Bucky Hodges stands at 6’7” and 245 pounds as he was a three-season starter for the Hokies.
Hodges’ height comes with strength that he uses to over power defenders lining up against him. In 2016, 28 percent of his catches went for 20-plus yards. He lacks the route running ability because he relies on his over powering strength too much. Fortunately, route running could improve through training camp by putting in the extra effort and watching route-running specialists like Sterling Sheppard & Odell Beckham. Temuchin, also known as “Bucky”, can line up in the slot and outside position on the field.
Scouting reports show that Hodges will work to his highest potential with a quarterback who can read coverage effectively. If drafted by the Giants, Eli Manning can be that quarterback Hodges is looking for. Bucky’s speed, for a bigger athlete, can out run a NFL linebacker, which would fit well into the speedy receiving core in New York.
Bucky has a few flaws that can be repaired through coaching and practice. Hodges is scouted to be shut down by physical play by opponents. The former Hokie tries to often to run over defenders rather than try effectively adjusting routes. Also, he has trouble with making a catch in traffic.
O.J. Howard and Jake Butt shadow Hodges in the 2017 NFL Draft, but don’t be surprised if the Giants take a chance on this tight end. The size and strength of Hodges can only be compared to their former Pro Bowl tight end, Jeremy Shockey. Another option for the Giants and Hodges is to wait for the second round and hope the giant can become a New York Giant.