FLOWERY BRANCH — Here’s a look at Falcons tight end Austin Hooper, the team’s third-round pick in the NFL draft.
Falcons coach Dan Quinn on Hooper: “The biggest thing for us is we saw the separation and the ability for him to break off in the option routes and the one-on-one option. We certainly intend to use him in that way.”
Hooper doesn’t need to get bigger.
“We don’t think he needs to put on any more weight to block,” Quinn said. “He’s almost 255, in that neighborhood, now, so we’ve sometimes moved a tight end to block, so that will be something in the package that Stanford did some, but was more in-line, so we’ll move him some, and lots to develop in that area on the move, which is stuff he hasn’t done. But when we went out to work out to Palo Alto, (Calif.), Thomas (Dimitroff) and I were there together, and we saw the movement. In fact, (Falcons tight ends coach) Wade (Harman) was out there, as well, so we know that’s a good part of his game, too.”
Three Questions with Hooper:
On carrying the Stanford Tight End position on into the NFL:
“I’m just ready to learn from what Levine Toilolo has learned throughout his time in the league and contribute to the Falcons organization on the offense and special teams however way I can.”
On how much running the pro-style offense at Stanford is going to help in his move to the league:
“There’s definitely a translation. I mean a lot of the plays are similar. I remember going over the board work with coach Quinn and some of the other coaches with the staff and a lot of the concepts we ran at Stanford are very similar to the ones that Matt Ryan and Company run in Atlanta, so hopefully that’s a testament to similarities.”
On how much in-line blocking he did for the Cardinals:
“My freshman year I only played wide every play. This past year, I did it a little bit more.”
The Hooper file
Round: Third (81st)
Height: 6-foot, 3 ¾ inches | Arm length: 33 3/4″
Weight: 254.pounds | Hand size: 10 5/8″
40-yard dash: 4.68 and 4.71 seconds
Bench press: 19 reps of 225 pounds (Needs to get stronger)
Vertical: 33 inches
Broad Jump: 9 feet, 9 inches
Three-cone drill: 7 seconds
Overview: He’s considered an athletic pass-catching tight end who had to wait his turn at Stanford. Some believe that he could have benefitted from another year of seasoning in the college ranks. He can develop into a mismatch option-route runner as a receiver. He’s also played some H-back and was a move tight end. Some scouts believe that he’s a better prospect than former Arkansas tight end Hunter Henry, who was selected early in the second round.