Photo of Gerald Hodges
Drafted By: Vikings

Combine Results

Grade
72.4 ?
  • 4.78 SEC
    Top Performer
  • 22 REPS
    Top Performer
  • 119.0 INCH
    Top Performer

Draft Analysis:

"Upstanding citizen. I think he's a starting Will linebacker all day long. He gives the Vikings versatility." -- Mike Mayock

  • 6'1" Height
  • 32" Arm Length
  • 243LBS. Weight
  • 9" Hands

Overview

A converted high school quarterback and successful wrestler (finished third in the state going 40-1 as a junior) from New Jersey, Hodges enrolled early and began his career at safety. He moved to linebacker during his true freshman season due to injuries there, playing in every game (three tackles). Hodges suffered a hairline fracture in his left leg after a hit on the opening kickoff against Alabama in 2010, missing four games. He consistently contributed after his return, starting one game and making 31 tackles, 2.5 for loss, on the year.


During the trials and tribulations of the Jerry Sandusky scandal in the 2011 season, Hodges led Penn State with 106 tackles and also had 10 tackles for loss and 4.5 sacks as a full-time starter and second-team All-Big Ten pick. As a senior in 2012, Hodges totaled 109 tackles (8.5 for loss), a sack, and two interceptions. For the second year in a row, Hodges earned a second-team All-Big Ten selection.

Analysis

Strengths

Former safety with short-area quickness to handle coverage responsibilities on multiple levels. Stays with running backs and tight ends in man coverage, comes off one target in zone to lay a hit on the underneath route. Flashes downhill speed to wrap up ballcarriers or force them into decisions. Active hands when engaged, willing to be physical. Works through traffic to the ball in tight quarters. Stays with receivers on short outs, can knock away the pass without interfering.

Weaknesses

Has only average bulk and length to take on NFL-sized linemen and tight ends. Does not consistently take advantage of interception opportunities. Lunges and fail to break down in the open field at times so more elusive ballcarriers can avoid him. Can be fooled on misdirection plays. Needs to prove himself a capable blitzer, doesn’t beat blocks consistently to force quarterbacks into making throws. Will get locked onto blocks, doesn't always play with proper leverage.

NFL Comparison

Quincy Black

Bottom Line

Hodges is a converted safety who is growing into a NFL starting Sam linebacker’s frame -– but he still has the movement skills to bring down ballcarriers in space. Hodges most impressive trait is his ability to cover, however. He needs to improve at disengaging from blocks, but his coverage skills will likely see him selected on the second day.
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Grade Title Draft (Round) Description
96-100 Future Hall of Famer Top Pick A once-in-a-generation type prospect who could change how his position is played
85-95 Immediate Starter 1st An impact player with the ability/intangibles to become a Pro Bowl player. Expect to start immediately except in a unique situation (i.e. behind a veteran starter).
70-84 Eventual Starter 2nd-3rd A quality player who will contribute to the team early on and is expected to develop into a starter. A reliable player who brings value to the position.
50-69 Draftable Player 4th-7th A prospect with the ability to make team as a backup/role player. Needs to be a special teams contributor at applicable positions. Players in the high range of this category might have long-term potential.
20-49 Free Agent UDFA A player with solid measurables, intangibles, college achievements, or a developing skill that warrants an opportunity in an NFL camp. In the right situation, he could earn a place on a 53-man roster, but most likely will be a practice squad player or a camp body.

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