Position: Tight End
Projected 40-Time: 4.68
Star Rating: Grade: 93
Draft Projection: 1st Round
Star rating is based on a prospects standing (as of March 5th) in the 2010 Scout.com Draft Rankings. A prospects grade is measured on the following scale:
85-100 = 1st - 2nd
_70-84 = 3rd - 4th
_55-69 = 5th - 6th
_40-54 = 7th Round - UDFA
Strengths: Hernandez is an athletic, durable pass catching tight end who possesses natural receiving skills and is a playmaker after the catch. He’s deceptively strong and is able to beat the jam off the line. He’s a solid route runner who works well in space and presents a reliable target to the quarterback. He possesses soft hands, catches the ball away from his body and adjusts well to errant throws, using his leaping ability to his advantage. He has great awareness and agility, and is able to elude defenders once he catches the ball. He runs with balance and strength in the open field and can beat most linebackers in one-on-one coverage. He’s a willing blocker at the line of scrimmage and gives effort blocking downfield.
Weaknesses: He doesn’t have a prototypical frame for a tight end and has to work on his overall strength. He must improve his blocking technique and has to use his hands better against the opposition.Steuber Says: A two-year starter at Florida, Hernandez played in 40 games over the last three years, making 29 starts. He’s viewed as a tweener because of his 6-foot-2, 250-pound listing, but his reliable hands and ability to stretch the field will allow scouts to overlook his size. Hernandez developed into Tim Tebow’s favorite target in 2009 and caught 68 passes for 850 yards and five touchdowns. The tight end class in this year’s draft is average and lacks the initial impact that’s worthy of high round selections. But Hernandez and Oklahoma’s Jermaine Gresham will compete for the right to be the first tight end taken, and it’s likely that they will both hear their names called in the first round. Currently, Hernandez is my No. 1 tight end, and I foresee him being the first TE off the board and selected in the 21 – 26 range. The Cincinnati Bengals (No. 21), Baltimore Ravens (No. 25) and Arizona Cardinals (No. 26) will have the most interest.
A member of the Pro Football Writers of America and the Football Writers Association of America, Chris Steuber has provided his analysis of the NFL and NFL Draft prospects on the web and on the radio since 1999. Steuber’s features are published across the Scout.com network and on FoxSports.com. If you wish to contact Chris Steuber, email him at: email@example.com. You can also now follow Chris Steuber on Twitter.