Hendon Hooker Rookie Profile King Fantasy Sports

Hendon Hooker - QB - Tennessee

Welcome to the rookie profile for Hendon Hooker.

Hendon Hooker produced at an elite level through two years in Tennessee. Had it not been for a late-season ACL injury in his senior year he could very well be in the conversation with the other first-round quarterbacks in this draft class. As it stands Hooker finds himself firmly in position as QB5 in the class.

He is likely to start his rookie season on the NFI List (Non-Football Injuries) as he will be recovering from a November 2022 ACL injury. Teams will be unable to place him on the injured reserve as his injuries occurred in college and thus he will go on the NFI List.

Hooker profiles to be a project quarterback who will sit for his rookie season to learn and heal. For fantasy managers who draft him, that may be a blessing in disguise and won’t force him into an undesirable situation on a struggling team that will stunt his growth.

Hendon led one of the most efficient offenses in college football but has little experience running a pro-style offense as he will see in the NFL. This means he will require some patience to acclimate to a new playing style. Hooker profiles as a smart, dual-threat quarterback in the same mold as Russell Wilson and is full of potential.

Measurables

Height: 6′ 3″

Weight: 217 lbs

Age: 25

40-yard dash: DNP 

3-cone drill: DNP

20-yard shuttle: DNP

Vertical Jump: DNP

Broad Jump: DNP

Bench Press: DNP

*age is at the start of player’s rookie year

College Stats

Passing Table
Passing
YearSchoolConfClassPosGCmpAttPctYdsY/AAY/ATDIntRate
*2018Virginia TechACCFRQB300000
*2019Virginia TechACCSOQB109916261.115559.610.6132165.8
2020Virginia TechACCJRQB89815065.313398.98.695153.5
*2021TennesseeSECSRQB1320630368.029459.711.3313181.4
*2022TennesseeSECSRQB1122932969.631359.510.9272175.5
CareerOverall63294466.989749.510.68012172.2
Virginia Tech19731263.128949.39.7227159.8
Tennessee43563268.860809.611.1585178.3
Provided by CFB at Sports Reference: View Original Table
Generated 2/23/2023.

Notable Headlines

Hooker was a 3-star recruit coming out of Dudley High School before joining Virginia Tech.

In 2018, as a freshman at Virginia Tech Hooker was redshirted and only saw action in 3 games while failing to record a stat.

After being named the starter over struggling Ryan Willis in his sophomore season in 2019 he saw his playing time increase dramatically to 10 games. In those 10 games, Hooker threw for 1,555 yards with 13 touchdowns and 2 interceptions.

In 2020 as a junior Hooker only appeared in 8 games, passing for 1,339 yards with 9 touchdowns and 5 interceptions.

Following the 2021 season, Hooker transferred to Tennessee and took over as the starter after Joe Milton suffered an ankle injury in the second game of the season. Hooker went on to have a breakout season putting up 2,945 yards passing with 31 touchdowns and only 3 interceptions.

After breaking out in 2021, Hooker decided to return to Tennessee for his senior year. He managed to improve on his 2021 breakout throwing for 3,135 yards with 27 touchdowns and 2 interceptions. Hooker managed to accomplish this in two fewer games than the previous season as he sustained a season-ending ACL injury in November that brought his college career to an abrupt end.

Scouting Report

Positives

Hooker showcased a skillset that included a multitude of tools during his college career. Standing 6’4” and 214 lbs he has the physical presence to be a strong and mobile quarterback. He may not break any rushing records but his ability as a rusher is evident in every play he makes.

He also showed incredible arm strength and accuracy in making throws into tight windows at every level of the field. As you would expect from a quarterback his size, Hooker has the largest hands of any quarterback in this draft class and uses them to zip the ball all over the field with relative ease. Hooker has exceptional intelligence and easily adjusts to the looks defenses give him on the field and will be a more than serviceable starter in the NFL.

Negatives

The main drawbacks to an otherwise sterling prospect profile are his age, 25 is old even for a quarterback prospect, and the medical issues surrounding his ACL injury and recovery. Hooker is all but guaranteed to be on the NFI list well into his rookie season meaning he could be 26 years old before seeing any significant NFL action. 

In college, Hooker ran primarily a spread offense that is very much different than the pro-style offenses he will run in the NFL and he will face a steep learning curve in trying to get up to NFL speed.

Hooker sometimes struggles under pressure and alternates between getting happy feet which leads to reckless throws and holding onto the ball for too long taking unnecessary sacks.

He possesses a strong and accurate arm but at times struggles with connecting on the more nuanced touch passes.

Pre Draft Analysis

Expected Draft Capital- Early Round 2

Ideal Landing Spots- Seattle Seahawks

Hendon Hooker is going to be a reliable, dual-threat quarterback similar to the archetype of Russell Wilson, so why not start his career off in Wilson’s old stomping grounds.

Seattle would be a great landing spot for both Hooker and the Seahawks. If the Seahawks bring back Geno Smith on a one or two-year deal it would allow Hooker to rehab from his ACL injury while learning from a veteran quarterback. Seattle has a variety of offensive weapons ranging from Lockett and Metcalf to Ken Walker that would fit nicely with Hooker’s skillset.

It’s hard to think of many coaches with more experience than Pete Carroll and he figures to be the perfect teacher to impart the wisdom that made Russell Wilson a star and champion.

Post Draft Analysis

Detroit Lions – Round 3, Pick 68

Landing Spot

While I was disappointed by Hooker falling to round three, I was over the moon with this landing spot. I had Seattle and Detroit circled as my dream landing spots for him and Detroit is exactly where he landed. He projects to sit behind veteran Jared Goff for his rookie season and this is perfect for his development. Not only will he need this time to heal from a late-season ACL injury but it will allow him to learn to run a pro-style offence after running primarily a spread gimmicky offence at Tennessee. If Hooker hadn’t been injured as a senior he would have gone far higher in the NFL Draft but in the end, his tumble down the draft board could turn out to be a blessing in disguise, if he gets the chance to start in his sophomore season the sky could be the limit for him in a potent Lions offence.



Fantasy Impact

Hooker should be disregarded in redraft leagues as he is extremely unlikely to see any prolonged action as a rookie. reports indicate that Hooker could be healed from his ACL injury in time to be ready for week one, but with Goff on the team, the Lions have no reason to rush him onto the field. 

He is a particularly interesting dynasty prospect as his draft capital and injury will make him available at a significant discount when compared to the four quarterbacks drafted above him. He is someone I will be looking to target in rookie drafts in any league where I will need a quarterback down the road. I see a Russell Wilson-like skill set here and think if things fall into place for him, he could easily find himself as a top-12 fantasy quarterback.



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Image Credit: Saul Young – USA TODAY Sports