2017 NFL Draft: Virginia Tech Bucky Hodges Scouting Report

Virginia Tech’s Bucky Hodges is an elite athlete who also possesses the size to create mismatch problems for the defense.

Bucky Hodges is listed as a tight end prospect, but spends the majority of his time at wide receiver. He’s rarely asked to put his hand in the dirt or work in the trenches. His main alignment is as the outside receiver with some time spent in the slot.

The fact that Hodges spends little time playing the role of a traditional tight end makes it hard to evaluate him at that position. It was the same situation a few years ago with Devin Funchess who ended up moving full time to wide receiver in the NFL.

In fact, Funchess actually saw a lot more snaps working next to the offensive tackle than Hodges.

Evaluation Hodges as a wide receiver doesn’t have a major impact on his overall draft stock. The fact is he’s a big-bodied pass catcher who excels at winning in contested situation. Hodges uses his size and leaping ability to box out the defender and attack the ball.

He shows good hands where he routinely plucks the ball out of the air at its highest point. Hodges features good body control which allows him to adjust to poorly thrown balls. He also has a good feel for locating the open holes in the defense.

The biggest question surrounding Hodges is whether or not he’ll run a fast enough time in the 40-yard dash. He’s a terrific athlete who likely will have the top time for tight ends, but his numbers should be compared to the bigger wide receivers.

Hodges flashes the ability to outpace the defender, but there are times where he struggles to create separation.

It’s possible that a few teams will still see Hodges as a fit at the tight end position. He’ll need to get strong and improve his blocking, but he has the size and build to develop.

If he’s seen as a wide receiver, Hodges will need to prove he has the top-end speed to stretch the field. He’ll also need to expand his route-tree and show more consistency with his hands. As I mention, he is a naturally gifted pass catcher but there were more than a few plays this past year where he had a drop on a potential big play.

Current Draft Range: 2nd Round