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The Future 40, Prospect 14: Aaron Hernandez Scouting Report

A new series was formed several weeks ago here called The Future 40, and the next edition is here! The segment has and will continue to run every other day until late April as we provide you with in-depth scouting reports of some 2010 NFL Draft prospects, giving you information key to understanding some of the players’ strengths, weaknesses, projected round of selection, possibility of being picked by the Eagles, and much more! And because the Draft is an important event for the entire league, some of the top-ranked players not expected to go to Philadelphia will also be reported on. In the first look at a prospect, we evaluated Nebraska’s DT Ndamukong Suh, who many consider to be the best player in the entire rookie class. In the second, we examined powerful RB Jonathan Dwyer and in the other editions that have released, FS Darrell StuckeyLB Sean WeatherspoonCB Joe HadenQB Mike KafkaOT Ciron BlackDE Greg HardyWR Eric DeckerRB Joe McKnightLB Micah JohnsonSS Earl Thomas, and RB/WR Dexter McCluster. This time around, we will keep to the offensive side of the ball and look at Aaron Hernandez:

  • Prospect Name: Aaron Hernandez
  • Position: Tight End
  • College: University of Florida
  • Height/Weight: 6'2", 250 pounds
  • Age: 20 years
  • Class Status: Junior

Summary: Hernandez's football career began to receive attention when he strung together a series of astounding high school seasons at Bristol Center in Connecticut. A 2-way player who saw action as a Tight End and different Linebacker spots, he was considered the top recruit at the TE position heading into college. Initially pondered as being the Florida Gators' Fullback because of his size and running ability, Hernandez ended up staying at his natural position on the end of the line as a receiver/blocker. In his freshman season of 2007, he managed to play in all 13 games, and 3 in which he was in the starting lineup. Despite not accumulating many stats or receiving a lot of playing time early on, he was able to work his way up to a larger role and closed the season with a strong sense. The following year, Hernandez saw a significant increase in repetitions, mostly as a result of an injury to teammate Cornelius Ingram, who is currently on the Eagles' roster in the NFL. In 13 games (11 started), he compiled 34 catches for 381 yards and 5 touchdowns. His contributions to the offense helped earn the TE more respect from his staff and gave NCAA fans a glimpse of his big-play possibilities. This past season, Hernandez's senior junior campaign, he doubled nearly every one of his statistical categories, totaling an impressive 850 receiving yards among other achievements. Because of a variety of reasons--one being that his collegiate credentials couldn't really get too much better--Hernandez chose to forgo his senior season and has declared as an official prospect for the nearing Draft. A big target in the passing game and a quality blocker and runner, Aaron Hernandez is among the top-ranked Tight Ends heading into the 2010 NFL Draft, and is certainly deserving of that.

Career Statistics:

YEAR REC YDS AVG LNG TD ATT YDS AVG LNG TD FUM LST
2007 9 151 16.8 55 2 0 0 0.0 0 0 0 0
2008 34 381 11.2 38 5 0 0 0.0 0 0 0 0
2009 68 850 12.5 64 5 1 16 16.0 16 0 0 0

Notable Achievements/Awards:

  • John Mackey Award winner (2009)
  • Walter Camp Connecticut Player of the Year award winner (2009)
  • All-SEC Honors (2009)

Strengths:

  • Athletic for his position
  • Is an impressive runner after making a catch
  • Has ability to adjust to poorly-thrown passes and make the reception
  • Powerful and not easily taken to the ground
  • Contains a dangerous set of receiving hands
  • Fits the role of a red zone target perfectly
  • Willing to receive the ball over the middle of the field and pound through defenders
  • Is consistent in his play
  • Has the versatility to play either Fullback or Tight End at the professional level
  • Possesses surprisingly good speed for a player of his size

Weaknesses:

  • Has a strong need for improved blocking skills
  • Tends to struggle when matched up in man coverage
  • Sometimes runs shaky receiving routes
  • Won't be able to perform successfully in all NFL schemes
  • Is a bit of an outspoken character
  • Ran only a few types of receiving routes at the collegiate level

Projected Round of Selection: 2nd round

NFL Player Comparison: Dustin Keller, New York Jets

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We hope that everyone enjoyed the fourteenth report for The Future 40 prospect segment, and urge you to keep checking back for more scouting analysis as the series continues all the way up until the Draft! Also, remember that we will happily take and consider requests from our fans for this series! If you or another Eagle fanatic is interested in seeing a certain player be evaluated in The Future 40, be sure to contact us as soon as possible, and we will attempt to include your selected prospect!

(picture source)

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