2023 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Hendon Hooker

  • Hendon Hooker, 6-3/217

  • Quarterback

  • Tennessee

  • Hendon Hooker Scouting Report
    By Charlie Campbell

  • Accurate passer
  • Ball placement
  • Protects the football
  • Makes good decisions
  • Moves his eyes
  • Works through his progression
  • Can throw receivers open
  • Doesn’t miss open receivers
  • Shows good timing
  • Anticipation
  • Able to loft in touch passes
  • Has more mobility than many realize
  • Will use his feet
  • Sneaky ability to pick up yards on the ground
  • Quality mechanics
  • Good fit in a West Coast offense

  • Weaknesses:
  • More of a game manager than a playmaker
  • Arm strength is adequate, but not special
  • Limited passer
  • Coming off an ACL tear
  • Already 25 years old

  • Summary: Hooker started out his career at Virginia Tech, but he really put himself on the map for the NFL after transferring to Tennessee. Hooker broke out with the Volunteers in 2021, flashing some ability while completing 68 percent of his passes for 2,945 yards, 31 touchdowns and three interceptions. He ran for 620 yards and five touchdowns as well. In 2022, Hooker completed 70 percent of his passes for 3,135 yards, 27 touchdowns and two interceptions. He also recorded 430 yards and five touchdowns on the ground. Hooker tore an ACL in the penultimate game of the regular season.

    On the positive side, Hooker has enough accuracy to operate as a rhythm passer while possessing some deep-ball skills. He also shows the ability to function in the quick passing game in the short part of the field, firing some quick bullets into smaller windows to move the ball. Hooker is a patient passer who will allow routes to develop, and he doesn’t panic when he has to hold the ball. Hooker showed improved accuracy and ball placement as a senior with developed footwork.

    On the negative side, Hooker sails a lot of throws, which could be problematic versus pro defensive backs. He has good timing and precision on his throws to lead receivers to yards after the catch, but NFL ball hawks will be more adept at hunting down those passes. Hooker is not a finished product yet and still room for improvement in terms of working through his progressions. The system at Tennessee did not prepare him with steady plays of multiple progressions. Speeding up his reading of defenses and working through his progressions faster will be necessities for him at the next level.

    Hooker is a good athlete with enough quickness to get yardage on the ground. Thanks to his mobility and athleticism, he is able to buy time and escape sacks. Hooker is a capable runner with the ability to dodge defenders, but he could stand to improve his throwing on the run.

    For the NFL, Hooker looks like more of a backup. He has a decent skill set, but it’s not exceptional. Some team sources feel Hooker was a product of the system at Tennessee. Hooker’s rookie season could be delayed because of returning from his ACL injury. For the NFL, he looks like a future backup, but he might surprise.

    Player Comparison: Josh Dobbs. Hooker reminds me of a better version of Dobbs coming out of Tennessee. Dobbs has settled in as a backup in the NFL, and Hooker could have the same potential.


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