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NFL Draft Profile: Hendon Hooker, Quarterback, Tennessee Volunteers

NFL Draft profile scouting report for Tennessee QB Hendon Hooker

Tennessee QB Hendon Hooker 2
Tennessee-Logo

#5
Pos: QB
Ht: 6032
Wt: 218
40: 4.66
DOB: 1/13/1998
Hometown: Greensboro, NC
High School: Dudley
Eligibility: 2023

Hendon Hooker
Tennessee Volunteers


One-Liner:

A dual-threat player whose power is on display both as a runner and a thrower, Hooker has all the tools you want but must take a real jump in his quarterback development to be a top prospect.

Evaluation:

There is a lot to like about the Tenessee signal-caller both physically and mechanically. Hooker has a thick frame with room to add mass and terrific height for the position. As a passer, Hooker shows a compact release, where he uses his frame to create velocity on multiple drive throws. He displays an effortless flick of the wrist, showing off his arm talent. His ability to reach all parts of the field is uncanny, with multiple throws from the far hash into the wide part of the field. His problems align with the accuracy of his passes. Far too often Hooker misses big plays with receivers easily exploiting secondaries for 5-10 yards of separation. Hooker has overthrown multiple touchdowns on a variety of routes including posts, corners, and go routes. When playing closer to the line of scrimmage, Hooker is better with his placement, but his lack of touch becomes an issue. He seems to throw only one speed, ripping the ball on swing or dig routes that favor more of a layered throw. While his ability as a reactionary player is exceptional thanks to his scrambling prowess, he turns to it far too often. When his first read is taken away, things go south quickly. Hooker will often lose his pocket presence, with his feet becoming sporadic, where he turns to run despite suitable pass protection and immature play development. Hooker is actually better when the windows get tighter, showing improved accuracy and ball placement in the red zone. His mentality shows here, willing himself as a runner to gain every yard especially when the endzone is in reach. He runs with intention and while he isnt a twitchy ball carrier, he has adequate speed and is a force in the open field, bigger than many of those tackling him. While Hooker tends to take care of the ball in passing concepts, the same cannot be said as a runner or in the pocket, where his ball security is a real issue. When playing in rhythm, Hooker shows he can slice the seam or drive the ball with accuracy into tight windows. Issues arise when his feet become lazy, as you can watch him stand flat-footed in the pocket, looking for his primary target to out-leverage defensive backs. A high-level thrower that is a constant threat to move the chains or exploit defenses with his arm velocity, Hooker has many of the tangible aspects desired by NFL teams. In order to truly reach his potential though, he has to work on the details of the position including anticipation, pocket presence and awareness, ball location, and coverage diagnostics.

Background:

Hendon Hooker, the Tennessee Volunteers QB, quickly became a playmaker for his team. He took the reins in his Redshirt Sophomore year where he completed sixty one percent of his passes while throwing for 1,555 yards and only two interceptions. From the very beginning, Hooker was impressive when he set a Tennessee record with one hundred twenty four pass attempts without an interception. During his Redshirt Senior season, he also broke the passing efficiency and completion percentage record. With Tennessee being in a competitive conference, the SEC, Hooker’s ability to play the game, and play it smart and well shows he is ready for the next phase of his career. 

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Grade:

4th Round

Quotes:

“Hooker was so good in his first year at Tennessee that the NFL took notice. The former Virginia Tech Hokie went from the transfer portal to a potential draft pick, all in the span of about ten months. He ultimately decided to return to Tennessee for another year of seasoning, which makes the Volunteers a dangerous team in 2022.”

Terry A. Lambert, SBnation.com

“Hooker is special. His ability on the field is one thing, but what really sets him apart is the attitude that he approaches each day with.”

Zach Ragan AtoZsports.com