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NGT: Hendon Hooker QB Tennessee

M.S. : 9/23/2022 9:17 am

This young man had been flying under the radar after a 3-year stint at VA Tech, but now his profile has been raised quite a bit higher with the Vols of Tennessee! And this weekend he gets to showcase his talents against QB Anthony Richardson and the Florida Gators.

Talk about two college QBs headed in different directions! Richardson got a lot of preseason hype, but has had a terrible start to the season, averaging only 141 yards a game (53% completion rate), with 0 TDs and 4 INTs.

The much more experienced Hendon Hooker is ablaze in 2022, averaging 274 passing yards per game (69% completion rate) with 5 TDs and 0 INTs. This is not a blip in Hooker's stats. In 18 games at VA Tech (2019-2020), he threw for nearly 2,900 yards, and then took a giant leap forward last season with the Vols, throwing for nearly 3,000 yards (68% completion rate) with 31 TDs and only 3 INTs.

Hendon Hooker is very athletic and is a threat to run on any occasion. I don't think he has ideal throwing mechanics, but I'll say this... he is one tough dude and a real gamer. Maybe one of Joe Schoen's road shows this fall will take him through Knoxville, TN.

Hendon Hooker Ultimate Highlights 2021-22 - ( New Window )
His accuracy is a real issue.  
barens : 9/23/2022 9:20 am : link
He missed quite a few easy throws against a Pittsburgh defense that was average at best. It will be interesting to see how the season unfolds for him beginning this weekend against Florida.
I love HH  
5BowlsSoon : 9/23/2022 9:21 am : link
I would be ecstatic to draft him but it won’t be easy to have a top qb picking #31, or thereabouts.
It's so hard to evaluate  
bigblue12 : 9/23/2022 9:21 am : link
these run first type QB's. He certainly has a LONG way to go with his throwing mechanics.
I will probably see him this year  
Lines of Scrimmage : 9/23/2022 9:28 am : link
I watch a lot of SEC ball. Tenn as a team has been getting some buzz after being in the gutter for so long.

He is 24 years old. This to me is a red flag but who knows how JS sees him.
RE: I will probably see him this year  
Jay on the Island : 9/23/2022 9:31 am : link
In comment 15828273 Lines of Scrimmage said:
Quote:
I watch a lot of SEC ball. Tenn as a team has been getting some buzz after being in the gutter for so long.

He is 24 years old. This to me is a red flag but who knows how JS sees him.

I agree, I wouldn't touch a 24 year old QB in round 1.
Newp  
Greg from LI : 9/23/2022 9:31 am : link
Still has the Hokie stink on him. Pass.
The other guy I'm interested in is  
Section331 : 9/23/2022 9:32 am : link
Michael Pinex at Wash. Indiana transfer who got jerked around a bit by Tom Allen, and is lighting it up in Seattle. He may be a Pickett-type 6th year wonder, but he is a good athlete with a strong arm. He had a terrific game last weekend against 11th ranked Mich St, so it's not like he's lighting it up against cupcakes.
Looks like a mobile Warren Moon  
George from PA : 9/23/2022 9:33 am : link
I still have a hard time.....translating college QB to the pros.

There are many decent college QBs....you know have no chance in the pros.

But it still very hard to figure who will excel in the pros
His throwing mechanics are horrible, combined with a slow release  
BLUATHRT : 9/23/2022 9:34 am : link
and poor accuracy. Stats improving, aside, I wouldn't touch him unless as a later round pick. There are a bunch of QB's in this upcoming draft that are lightyears ahead of Hooker.
RE: I love HH  
M.S. : 9/23/2022 9:35 am : link
In comment 15828263 5BowlsSoon said:
Quote:
I would be ecstatic to draft him but it won’t be easy to have a top qb picking #31, or thereabouts.

31... I love it!!!
RE: His throwing mechanics are horrible, combined with a slow release  
Snablats : 9/23/2022 9:39 am : link
In comment 15828288 BLUATHRT said:
Quote:
and poor accuracy. Stats improving, aside, I wouldn't touch him unless as a later round pick. There are a bunch of QB's in this upcoming draft that are lightyears ahead of Hooker.

I agree

Havent seen Penix this year, but I do know that the total for that MSU-UW game was set close to 60, so it was expected that MSU's defense would give up a ton of points, and they did
As a Tennessee fan  
Koffman : 9/23/2022 9:41 am : link
I have watched every game he's played for the Vols. My take on him is that he is a good college QB in a system that makes him look better than he may actually be. His accuracy and mechanics aren't great, but he's a good athlete with some skills. Personally, because of the accuracy issues I don't feel he translates well to the pro game, although his athleticism, and and the right system could make him a decent player. Could he be a decent starter for an NFL team, sure, but if you're looking for Mahomes, Allen, Herbert type production from him I wouldn't count on it.
RE: As a Tennessee fan  
widmerseyebrow : 9/23/2022 10:09 am : link
In comment 15828298 Koffman said:
Quote:
I have watched every game he's played for the Vols. My take on him is that he is a good college QB in a system that makes him look better than he may actually be. His accuracy and mechanics aren't great, but he's a good athlete with some skills. Personally, because of the accuracy issues I don't feel he translates well to the pro game, although his athleticism, and and the right system could make him a decent player. Could he be a decent starter for an NFL team, sure, but if you're looking for Mahomes, Allen, Herbert type production from him I wouldn't count on it.


Hate to be that guy but Josh Allen had horrendous accuracy and mechanics issues as well. Obviously a unicorn but still might be closer to the ideal modern college QB than the previous era. Does HH have plus tools? Do you see improvement?

Even a guy like Jalen Hurts who looked limited at Alabama improved in a more pass happy system at OU. As much as it pains me he is starting to look credible finally for Philly as a passer.

Tools and ability to improve seem key.
Cmon man - Hooker doesn't have an arm anywhere close to Allen's  
Greg from LI : 9/23/2022 10:09 am : link
.
RE: I will probably see him this year  
LauderdaleMatty : 9/23/2022 10:09 am : link
In comment 15828273 Lines of Scrimmage said:
Quote:
I watch a lot of SEC ball. Tenn as a team has been getting some buzz after being in the gutter for so long.

He is 24 years old. This to me is a red flag but who knows how JS sees him.


To me I’m passing 10 out of 10 times on a player that old anywhere near R1.

While each player may develop at different speeds a 24 year old man playing against 18-21 year olds should be a major question in how much better they can be and that they should be more advanced. They are men.
RE: RE: As a Tennessee fan  
Koffman : 9/23/2022 10:26 am : link
In comment 15828326 widmerseyebrow said:
Quote:
In comment 15828298 Koffman said:


Quote:


I have watched every game he's played for the Vols. My take on him is that he is a good college QB in a system that makes him look better than he may actually be. His accuracy and mechanics aren't great, but he's a good athlete with some skills. Personally, because of the accuracy issues I don't feel he translates well to the pro game, although his athleticism, and and the right system could make him a decent player. Could he be a decent starter for an NFL team, sure, but if you're looking for Mahomes, Allen, Herbert type production from him I wouldn't count on it.



Hate to be that guy but Josh Allen had horrendous accuracy and mechanics issues as well. Obviously a unicorn but still might be closer to the ideal modern college QB than the previous era. Does HH have plus tools? Do you see improvement?

Even a guy like Jalen Hurts who looked limited at Alabama improved in a more pass happy system at OU. As much as it pains me he is starting to look credible finally for Philly as a passer.

Tools and ability to improve seem key.


Hooker didn't even begin the season last year as UT's #1 ,that was Joe Milton (who's accuracy was atrocious). Milton got injured and Hooker came in and took over with good play and kept the job. Yes, he has improved, but can he improve to an elite level passer? Not sure, but he hasn't yet, if anything it looks like some of his throws are worse than when he started.
And don't get me wrong  
Koffman : 9/23/2022 10:33 am : link
I think Hooker can be a GOOD NFL QB. But if you're drafting him in the 1st round to develop into some kind of elite NFL talent. I just don't see it yet.
RE: And don't get me wrong  
widmerseyebrow : 9/23/2022 10:38 am : link
In comment 15828363 Koffman said:
Quote:
I think Hooker can be a GOOD NFL QB. But if you're drafting him in the 1st round to develop into some kind of elite NFL talent. I just don't see it yet.


Thank you for the insight. I'm prepping myself for the Giants to be picking somewhere in the middle of the first round (i.e. Stroud not being available) so I'd like to know who the high upside guys are that might slip because of this or that.
Can't quite put my finger on it  
M.S. : 9/23/2022 11:05 am : link

but there's something about Hendon Hooker's game I really like... maybe it's because I see a tough, gritty QB.

Dunno where he'll be selected, but he will indeed be drafted before Day Two is over.
RE: Accuracy issues?  
5BowlsSoon : 9/23/2022 12:18 pm : link
In comment 15828298 Koffman said:
Quote:
I have watched every game he's played for the Vols. My take on him is that he is a good college QB in a system that makes him look better than he may actually be. His accuracy and mechanics aren't great, but he's a good athlete with some skills. Personally, because of the accuracy issues I don't feel he translates well to the pro game, although his athleticism, and and the right system could make him a decent player. Could he be a decent starter for an NFL team, sure, but if you're looking for Mahomes, Allen, Herbert type production from him I wouldn't count on it.


They said the same thing about Josh Allen…..look how he has turned out.
Any relation to  
Hazlet Giant's Fan : 9/23/2022 1:33 pm : link
Fair
RE: Can't quite put my finger on it  
John In CO : 9/23/2022 2:12 pm : link
In comment 15828427 M.S. said:
Quote:

but there's something about Hendon Hooker's game I really like... maybe it's because I see a tough, gritty QB.

Dunno where he'll be selected, but he will indeed be drafted before Day Two is over.


Need to take a CLOSE look at that system he is in at TN under Josh Heupel. As I UCF fan, I saw it up close and personal for a few years. It is pretty much just hurry hurry hurry and throw throw throw. Damn near any QB is gonna look pretty great in it. So if we are gonna be looking at Hooker, then I guess we should look at Dillon Gabriel as well, now at OK but who absolutely thrived in the Heupel system.
my biggest issue with Hooker  
KDavies : 9/23/2022 2:13 pm : link
is my concern with how paying a player by the hour would work with the salary cap
RE: His throwing mechanics are horrible, combined with a slow release  
bw in dc : 9/23/2022 3:27 pm : link
In comment 15828288 BLUATHRT said:
Quote:
and poor accuracy. Stats improving, aside, I wouldn't touch him unless as a later round pick. There are a bunch of QB's in this upcoming draft that are lightyears ahead of Hooker.


Since when does a 68%+ completion rate (last year) and a 69+ completion rate (this year) qualify as "poor accuracy"?

And for the uneducated, those %s are with Hooker producing nearly a 10 YPA.

Josh Heupel's RPO is a synonym for Ridiculous Pass Offense. The number of hits Hooker takes because the pass protection is such a joke is even more credit to Hooker for completing such a high rate of passes.
RE: RE: His throwing mechanics are horrible, combined with a slow release  
M.S. : 9/23/2022 3:41 pm : link
In comment 15828676 bw in dc said:
Quote:
In comment 15828288 BLUATHRT said:


Quote:


and poor accuracy. Stats improving, aside, I wouldn't touch him unless as a later round pick. There are a bunch of QB's in this upcoming draft that are lightyears ahead of Hooker.



Since when does a 68%+ completion rate (last year) and a 69+ completion rate (this year) qualify as "poor accuracy"?

And for the uneducated, those %s are with Hooker producing nearly a 10 YPA.

Josh Heupel's RPO is a synonym for Ridiculous Pass Offense. The number of hits Hooker takes because the pass protection is such a joke is even more credit to Hooker for completing such a high rate of passes.

It’s funny… I read all the comments about how inaccurate he is, but I’m the one who posted his very fine completion percentage, so I’ve been a little confused to say the least. Maybe the guy has missed wide open receivers, but if he replicates 68-69% completion rate at next level, then I’d be willing to take the risk!
RE: RE: His throwing mechanics are horrible, combined with a slow release  
Section331 : 9/23/2022 4:08 pm : link
In comment 15828676 bw in dc said:
Quote:

Since when does a 68%+ completion rate (last year) and a 69+ completion rate (this year) qualify as "poor accuracy"?

And for the uneducated, those %s are with Hooker producing nearly a 10 YPA.

Josh Heupel's RPO is a synonym for Ridiculous Pass Offense. The number of hits Hooker takes because the pass protection is such a joke is even more credit to Hooker for completing such a high rate of passes.


I haven't seen enough of Hooker to comment on his pro prospects, but accuracy in college doesn't always translate to the next level. With all of the bubble screens and open WR's in spread formations, a blind QB could find them. Tim Tebow never completed less than 65% of his passes (over 9 YPA) at FL, and accuracy was a major issue for him.
RE: RE: RE: His throwing mechanics are horrible, combined with a slow release  
bw in dc : 9/23/2022 4:15 pm : link
In comment 15828739 Section331 said:
Quote:
In comment 15828676 bw in dc said:


Quote:



Since when does a 68%+ completion rate (last year) and a 69+ completion rate (this year) qualify as "poor accuracy"?

And for the uneducated, those %s are with Hooker producing nearly a 10 YPA.

Josh Heupel's RPO is a synonym for Ridiculous Pass Offense. The number of hits Hooker takes because the pass protection is such a joke is even more credit to Hooker for completing such a high rate of passes.



I haven't seen enough of Hooker to comment on his pro prospects, but accuracy in college doesn't always translate to the next level. With all of the bubble screens and open WR's in spread formations, a blind QB could find them. Tim Tebow never completed less than 65% of his passes (over 9 YPA) at FL, and accuracy was a major issue for him.


I get it, and I'm not arguing if current accuracy in college has a high probability of conveying to the NFL.

The way it's being described by others, Hooker can't throw the ball into the ocean. Which is just laughable.

BTW, I am very high on Hooker and think he's worthy of first round consideration.
Big win for Vols today and the only reason I paid any attention  
BSIMatt : 9/24/2022 10:38 pm : link
Was because of this thread. Great win by Tennessee and Hooker played outstanding.
RE: RE: I love HH  
section125 : 9/25/2022 2:44 am : link
In comment 15828289 M.S. said:
Quote:
In comment 15828263 5BowlsSoon said:


Quote:


I would be ecstatic to draft him but it won’t be easy to have a top qb picking #31, or thereabouts.


31... I love it!!!


FWIW, if the Giants pick 31st, they may not need a QB...just sayin!
RE: RE: His throwing mechanics are horrible, combined with a slow release  
rich in DC : 9/25/2022 3:21 am : link
In comment 15828676 bw in dc said:
Quote:
In comment 15828288 BLUATHRT said:


Quote:


and poor accuracy. Stats improving, aside, I wouldn't touch him unless as a later round pick. There are a bunch of QB's in this upcoming draft that are lightyears ahead of Hooker.



Since when does a 68%+ completion rate (last year) and a 69+ completion rate (this year) qualify as "poor accuracy"?

And for the uneducated, those %s are with Hooker producing nearly a 10 YPA.

Josh Heupel's RPO is a synonym for Ridiculous Pass Offense. The number of hits Hooker takes because the pass protection is such a joke is even more credit to Hooker for completing such a high rate of passes.


This is one of my pet peeves. But accuracy does not equate to NOT completion percentage.

When you hear coaches and scouts talk about accuracy, what they are really talking about is the QB being able to make all the throws in the receiving tree in the intended “window”. Bonus points (so to speak) for being able to put the ball where only the receiver can get to the ball.

One warning sign for Hooker- the gimmick offense that Tennessee runs relies on beating the defense to the LOS and getting off a quick bubble screen throw, giving the receiver an advantage vs the defense because they have the ball in hand before the DBs are set in coverage.

This type of offense leads to lots of uncontested short throws that improve the QBs completion percentage- but also are a poor test of accuracy.

When looking at a college QB, watch to see if they put the ball where only his receiver can get to it while also hitting the receiver on the run. When watching NFL games, you often hear the term “giving the receiver time to run under the ball”- THAT is the intended use of the term accuracy- the QB putting the ball in a space that ANTICIPATES the receiver being open- often down the field on the run- not reliant on bubble screens.

Bubble screens are a good tactic in college ball because it is generally a high percentage throw and gives the receiver a chance to make a move before the defender is ready. Of course, it works in the NFL as well- but the defenders are better and smarter- and you often see them either jump the route or stop the play for little gain.

What I did see from Hooker today was more work down the field. He had a lot of open receivers, but I rarely saw him make a contested throw in a tight window. What was more concerning is how many times I saw him hit a receiver who was stopped rather than on the run. I also say receivers having to make circus catches even when they were open- i.e.- having already beat the defender but the ball was so over/underthrown that they had to dive or contort themselves just to make the catch.

We all know that in the NFL, being open is more of just having a fraction on the defender- and the ball MUST be delivered on an anticipation route to a certain spot that the receiver is going to be at before the ball is delivered.

Too often when watching Hooker- and it happened several times when watching him today- I found myself thinking “that’s a good college throw, but that’s not a throw you make in the NFL successfully.”
At 3:30 in the morning, sometimes things don’t come out clearly  
rich in DC : 9/25/2022 4:04 am : link
That first line should say “accuracy does NOT equate to completion percentage.”
RE: Big win for Vols today and the only reason I paid any attention  
M.S. : 9/25/2022 9:19 am : link
In comment 15829617 BSIMatt said:
Quote:
Was because of this thread. Great win by Tennessee and Hooker played outstanding.

Hendon Hooker really lit it up yesterday:

22 for 28 (78.6%); 349 yards with 2 TDs/0 INTs. QBRat: 206.8
And tack on 112 yards rushing on 13 carries and 1 TD.
RE: RE: Big win for Vols today and the only reason I paid any attention  
rich in DC : 9/25/2022 10:30 am : link
In comment 15829712 M.S. said:
Quote:
In comment 15829617 BSIMatt said:


Quote:


Was because of this thread. Great win by Tennessee and Hooker played outstanding.


Hendon Hooker really lit it up yesterday:

22 for 28 (78.6%); 349 yards with 2 TDs/0 INTs. QBRat: 206.8
And tack on 112 yards rushing on 13 carries and 1 TD.


Again- go watch the game- and not with fantasy stat eyes, but projecting to the NFL. Forget the bubble screens and quick tosses in the backfield- those are NFL gadget plays, not the core of an offense.

Look at the downfield throws- not a lot of throws his receivers made easy catch and goes on. Lots of adjustments and some clear misses. Was not at all impressed with the big numbers against Florida or Pitt. What I saw was a good college QB who maybe gets some Heisman talk toward the bottom 10- but I didn’t see a QB who is ready to make NFL throws all day long.

Add in that he’s already 24 and will need development time just to be ready to play, and its fairly easy to come the conclusion that there are other QB with just as many physical attributes who’se game translates better to the pro game and are better choices on draft day.

Some NFL team will fall in love with the numbers and end up being very disappointed in the future. Giants can’t miss on the next QB- and Hooker isn’t going to be the guy. Sorry
RE: RE: RE: His throwing mechanics are horrible, combined with a slow release  
widmerseyebrow : 9/25/2022 1:18 pm : link
In comment 15829648 rich in DC said:
Quote:


Respectfully disagree. I wouldn't say the offense he is playing in is "gimmicky," but simply more representative of the college game at large. It just comes with the territory of trying to project these guys into the NFL. Josh Allen and Herbert didn't really run sophisticated pro offenses in college. The latter especially threw a lot of dump offs and screens at Oregon. I would even go as far to say that it's not exclusive to college either as the Rams just won a Super Bowl with a pretty screen heavy offense. NFL teams are adjusting to accommodate for QBs who don't run a lot of traditional pro concepts.

I thought Hooker made several tight throws (the goal line TD rolling right was nice) and hit some nice downfield passes as well. Yes he had some misses, but our coach is the guy who helped develop a really inaccurate passer with a lot of tools to maybe the top of the NFL in Josh Allen.

As I've said before we're likely out of the running for the top prospect (Stroud seems the closest right now) so getting a guy we can develop is really what we're hoping for wherever we wind up drafting. Hooker already ran the gauntlet that is the SEC last year and did pretty well and he's looking even better this year. I almost see his transfer to Tennessee, ability to pick up a second offense, and excelling as a huge positive indicator of his pro potential when he'll have to do it again.
RE: RE: RE: Big win for Vols today and the only reason I paid any attention  
widmerseyebrow : 9/25/2022 1:23 pm : link
In comment 15829754 rich in DC said:
Quote:

Add in that he’s already 24 and will need development time just to be ready to play, and its fairly easy to come the conclusion that there are other QB with just as many physical attributes who’se game translates better to the pro game and are better choices on draft day.


Who? Genuinely interested. I think Levis fits the bill. Stroud is likely out of our reach. Young scares me and I would not be surprised if he slides out of his preseason #1/#2 ranking.

The other names I've seen thrown around either lack playing time and polish (Richardson, who should probably stay in school for another year no matter what happens), have been mediocre or worse this season (Van Dyke, Jurkovec, McKee), or seem like your typical college system QB (Will Rogers looks like the latest noodle arm, Mike Leach Air Raid QB with big numbers and ho hum tools).
RE: RE: RE: RE: His throwing mechanics are horrible, combined with a slow release  
bw in dc : 9/25/2022 10:53 pm : link
In comment 15829883 widmerseyebrow said:
Quote:
In comment 15829648 rich in DC said:


Respectfully disagree. I wouldn't say the offense he is playing in is "gimmicky," but simply more representative of the college game at large. It just comes with the territory of trying to project these guys into the NFL. Josh Allen and Herbert didn't really run sophisticated pro offenses in college. The latter especially threw a lot of dump offs and screens at Oregon. I would even go as far to say that it's not exclusive to college either as the Rams just won a Super Bowl with a pretty screen heavy offense. NFL teams are adjusting to accommodate for QBs who don't run a lot of traditional pro concepts.

I thought Hooker made several tight throws (the goal line TD rolling right was nice) and hit some nice downfield passes as well. Yes he had some misses, but our coach is the guy who helped develop a really inaccurate passer with a lot of tools to maybe the top of the NFL in Josh Allen.

As I've said before we're likely out of the running for the top prospect (Stroud seems the closest right now) so getting a guy we can develop is really what we're hoping for wherever we wind up drafting. Hooker already ran the gauntlet that is the SEC last year and did pretty well and he's looking even better this year. I almost see his transfer to Tennessee, ability to pick up a second offense, and excelling as a huge positive indicator of his pro potential when he'll have to do it again.


Excellent post. I like rich in DC and he's written some thoughtful posts here.

But I see Hooker the way you do. Physically, he has excellent size, athleticism, and close to a plus-arm. And I like his ability to produce off-script, a requisite in today's game for QB.

I am not a fan of Heupel's offense because the protection can really expose the QB (reminds me of the offense Goff had to deal with at Cal with Sonny Dykes...I couldn't believe the hits Goff took his final year in Berkley because the protection was so poorly designed...). So, if anything, Hooker is making Heupel look good, not the other way around.

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