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Breaking down potential Titans' target Austin Hooper

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Hooper visited the Titans and appears to be in their crosshairs as a mid-round guy.

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Position: Tight End

School: Stanford

Size: 6-4, 254 pounds

Production: 2015: 34 rec, 438 yards, 6 TDs

Positives

  • Ideal size for the position at 6-4, 250+.
  • Flashed a "my-ball" mentality, showing an ability to go up and win jump-balls.
  • Offers you something in the open field after the catch.
  • Knows how to use his size. Can "post-up" defenders and go get the ball.
  • Athletic enough to win routes against linebackers in coverage.
  • Nothing special as a blocker, but wasn't a liability either. Held his own. Did his job and took care of his responsibilities as a run blocker.
Negatives
  • Needs to refine his route-running. Lots of rounded off breaks that could be cleaned up.
  • Drop rate of 11 percent.
  • Likely won't challenge any safeties down the field with speed.
  • Could stand to get stronger and possibly thicker. May struggle in the NFL trenches to start.
Examples

Easy pickings for Hooper here. He gets matched up on a linebacker and makes this touchdown look easy. Hooper freezes the linebacker in coverage and bolts across the middle for the score. He really earned his keep in the short areas in the games that I got to see. Hooper really worked the middle of the field well.


Here's an example of Hooper winning a contested ball. Guys that can consistently do this in the NFL make the big bucks. He had two defenders in pretty good position, but he is still able to win in with his size and leaping ability. That's a big time play.


Overview

Hooper is a guy that does a little bit of everything, but nothing really outstanding. I don't think he's done developing as a player, especially as a blocker. He'll need to add some weight to handle NFL blocking, but that's not something that I'm worried about. If he can get better with his route running down the field, Hooper could turn into a pretty good number one tight end. For now, he projects as an intriguing number two option with plenty of room to grow.

Tennessee had a crowded tight end room last year, but could use an upgrade over Anthony Fasano. Adding another capable tight end to an offense that already features Delanie Walker could be a interesting way to go, especially since Jon Robinson has already added a receiver in Rishard Matthews.

Round grade: 3rd round
Draft slot: 50-100