Hey guys, how ya doin'? Feeling good after Blue-White weekend? Well, the good Penn State news keeps on coming for you, as your favorite NFL team just drafted Gerald Hodges!
That's right, your team just picked up someone who quietly had 215 tackles, 18.5 TFL, 4.5 sacks, 3 INT's, 11 passes broken up and three forced fumbles these last two seasons. I say "quietly" because your team probably picked him up in the third round at the absolute earliest, but production like that certainly merits consideration for a first or second round pick.
Basically, everything you want in a linebacker, you're getting with Gerald Hodges. He has a nose for the ballcarrier and is relentless in his pursuit. He reads plays and pounces. He can play man or zone coverage. He can cover almost any TE or RB you put him on. He's fast. He's strong. He's smart. AND JUST LOOK AT THAT SMILE. My NFL team probably isn't going to draft him, but I'm still gonna love this guy.
So why did he fall to your team in the mid-rounds? Well, he's not that great of a pass rusher, which is why he is a much better fit as an OLB in a 4-3 scheme than a 3-4 scheme. Also, according to scouting reports I've read, he doesn't have the size teams are looking for, which is stupid, but whatever. Look for a smart team that drafts well (ex: Pittsburgh, Baltimore, etc.) to jump on him because other teams look for shit you can measure instead of on-field production.
At the Combine, Hodges did fairly well: 22 reps on the bench press (13th most among LB's), 4.78 in his 40 (not good) and 119.0 inches on his broad jump (not bad, but not great, either). At PSU's Pro Day, he also had a 9'11" broad jump and a 35" vertical. Also, he measured at 6'1", 243 lbs at the Combine and 6'2", 233 at his Pro Day. Which is weird. But we're not here to ask questions, amirite?
So let's say your team drafts Hodges, what should you expect in 2013? Well, in all likelihood, not much. He can certainly contribute on special teams (just not as a f'ing punt returner), but that's about it. He may get some reps if he's on a bad team that wants to get young guys time, but don't expect him to rack up 85 tackles and be the next Navorro Bowman or anything. Actually, Bowman's rookie season (20 tackles in 16 games with one start) is probably what you should expect. Also, I'm a bit biased, but I think he's going to eventually be a stud. But that's just me.