Prospects

Prospects
Photo of Evander Hood
Evander Hood (DT)
Height: 6'3"
Weight: 300
College: Missouri
Conference: SEC
Hometown: Amarillo, TX
High School: Palo Duro
Featured Prospects
Selected by: Pittsburgh Steelers
Round: 1
Pick (Overall): 32 (32)
Discuss
Pick Analysis: The Steelers snag the energetic Hood at the bottom of the first round to upgrade their depth along the line. Though many pegged Hood as a "one-gap" interior tackle, his combination of strength and movement fit in nicely as a 3-4 defensive end. With the luxury of learning behind a veteran crew, Hood should develop into a starter in a year or two.
  1. Overview
  2. Analysis
Overview

The secondary was the obvious weak link of the Tigers' defense the past two years, but with Hood in the trenches Missouri more than held its own up front. That unit allowed only 124.86 yards per game rushing in 2008, ranking second in the Big 12 Conference and 12th in the nation in tackles for loss, registering an average of 7.43 stops behind the line of scrimmage per game.


Called by head coach Gary Pinkel, "the most tenacious player on the team," Hood lived up to that reputation. Despite constantly battling double-team coverage, he collected 10 sacks, 15 stops behind the line of scrimmage and 16 quarterback pressures the last two seasons as the team's starting weak-side defensive tackle.


Hood was a highly-regarded athlete who excelled on defense and also played tight end for Palo Duro High School. He ranked as the No. 35 weak-side defensive end in the nation, according Rivals.com, and was named District 3-4A Defensive Player of the Year as a senior, when he registered 93 tackles and 13 sacks.


That season, Hood also scored three defensive touchdowns and recovered three fumbles. He earned All-District honors each of his last two years. He registered 76 tackles as a junior, including five sacks and also returned an interception for a touchdown. In addition to football, he threw the shot and discus for his school's track team.


Hood chose to attend Missouri in 2005, turning down scholarship offers from Arizona State, Oklahoma State, Texas Christian, Texas-El Paso and Baylor, among others. The coaches were originally going to redshirt him, but in August camp Hood earned a spot with the second unit at weak-side defensive tackle, going on to play in 12 games. He was in on 23 tackles (13 solos), 1.5 sacks and 2.5 stops behind the line of scrimmage.


The sophomore seized a starting opportunity in 2006. In the third game vs. New Mexico he suffered a foot fracture that required surgery to insert a screw. The staff projected that he would be forced to miss the rest of the season, but each week Hood predicted he would be back the following game. He returned after just three games and played through the pain the remainder of the season. Hood went out and delivered 36 tackles (24 solos) that included four sacks, four pressures and two forced fumbles while playing weak-side tackle and nose guard. That was just the start of great things to come.


In 2007, Hood was named All-Big 12 Conference honorable mention. The weak-side tackle started all 14 games, coming up with 49 tackles (30 solos). Despite constant double coverage, he finished third on the squad with five sacks and had a career-high eight stops for losses. He caused three fumbles, recovered another and broke up five passes. After producing six tackles and 1.5 sacks vs. Arkansas in the Cotton bowl, Pinkel called that Hood's best game in a Tigers uniform.


Hood continued to be relentless in his pursuit of quarterbacks in 2008, as five of his 12 pressures caused interceptions. The team captain and All-Big 12 first-team choice was in on 62 tackles (31 solos) that included seven stops behind the line of scrimmage and five sacks. He also recovered two fumbles and blocked one kick.


High School

Attended Palo Duro (Amarillo, Texas) High School, playing football for head coach Steve Parr...Also played tight end...Ranked as the 35th-best weak-side defensive end in the nation, according to Rivals.com, and was named District 3-4A Defensive Player of the Year as a senior, when he registered 93 tackles and 13 sacks...That season, Hood also scored three defensive touchdowns and recovered three fumbles...Earned All-District honors each of his last two years...Registered 76 tackles as a junior, including five sacks and also returned an interception for a touchdown...In addition to football, he threw the shot and discus for his school's track team...Member of the National Honor Society.


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Analysis

Positives: More than the sum of his parts. ... Legitimate NFL size. ... Plays with a passionate, physical style. ... Locates the ball quickly and pursues well down the line. ... Flashes initial burst off the snap and the lateral quickness to make plays behind the line of scrimmage. ... Recognizes the trap block and can burst through the hole to make the play behind the line of scrimmage. ... Physical at the point. ... Seems to enjoy the hand-to-hand combat in the trenches and doesn't back down from contact. ... Active hands and can disengage from blocks due to his hand play. ... Durable performer. ... Showed great toughness in 2006, missing only three games after breaking his foot and having a screw inserted, before returning to play the final seven games at less than 100 percent.


Negatives: Lacks the elite explosiveness or strength usually associated with highly rated defensive tackles. ... Only moderate initial quickness. ... Flashes the lateral quickness to elude and collapse the pocket, but is too inconsistent in that area. ... Often plays too high and loses leverage, negating his own strength and size. ... Missed three full games and parts of others in 2006 with a broken foot suffered midway through the season.


Compares To: JASON FERGUSON, Miami -- Like Ferguson, Hood plays well when lined up over the center's head. He needs to learn how to keep his pads down, as he has this nasty habit of popping up at the snap, leaving his chest exposed for the physical block. He has good lateral agility and uses his hand jolt effectively to push the blocker back, redirect and shoot the gaps. When he moves down the line, he is quick to pick up schemes and plays with urgency to prevent the ball carrier from turning the corner. He will often face multiple blockers and would be more effective shedding them, if he can improve his pad level.


Injury Report

2006: Suffered a right foot fracture vs. New Mexico (9/16), undergoing surgery two days later to have a screw inserted and was forced to sit out the Ohio University (9/23), Colorado (9/30) and Texas Tech (10/07) games.


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