Austin Hooper   TE/H-Back   Stanford

Austin has excellent hands to catch the ball. He also will catch the ball when he has players hanging all over him. Austin lights up inside the 40 yard line; he wants the ball and he wants to score touchdowns. He shows on film those long strides that cover surprising ground and has long arms to use for a very big catch radius. Austin is a mis-match for most linebackers because of his long arms and when you throw the ball up high, he has the athleticism to adjust to the ball in the air. Additionally, he possesses the lower body explosion and long arms to reach much higher than the average defensive player on the field in order to catch the ball and still stay in bounds. Austin will go down low for the ball and will sell out to make a catch in the middle of the field. He is a touchdown maker and a third down nightmare for his opponents to deal with every time you need him to be. Inside the 40 yard line,d you can use Austin on the inside or the outside because of his size and agility and ability to adjust to the ball in the air and catch the ball with authority.

Austinís biggest problem is that he has no interest in blocking. He just doesnít really want to excel at it. Itís not that he doesnít like to be physical, thatís not an issue; itís just he really doesnít understand why he has to bother with it. Also Austin doesnít run many routes or run them well, he just is a better athlete with broader shoulders, longer arms and legs than most of the other players he is up against. The lack of interest in blocking shows an immaturity on the field and that could flow over to an immaturity off the field.

Austin is the type of player that is a finisher but he is not the type that will do the grunt work to finish. He can catch the ball with the best tight ends and receivers in this draft and can adjust to the ball and will go low to the ground, over the middle or jump high to catch the ball. He can catch the ball as he goes by in a speeding car and you stand on the side of the road and throw it to him but as far as blocking goesÖit seems like thatís a little too much grunt work for him to be bothered with. When you get inside the 40 yard line, you can use Austin as a receiver anywhere on the field and he will produce, but just donít run a sweep around his side because as far as Austin is concerned, thatís not what he is on the field to do. He is on the field to catch the ball and not block for someone else. Now I know someone is going to tell me that Austin is not like thatÖ he is a great guy and an excellent teammate and he wants the team to win. To that, I say BS. Austin wants Austin to win and that is not a bad thing -- in fact, itís a good thing but you just have to understand that Austin might not ever have any interest in blocking except maybe when the big games come and then he could surprise you with his effort, blocking on every play because remember Austin wants Austin to win. Donít get me wrong; I like Austin because he is an offensive weapon in the passing game, but Iím not drafting him thinking I can turn him into an complete Tight End or H/Back as far as blocking is concern. Iím not that naive.

Drew Boylhart  MAR.2016