The Vikings filled another need and also got tremendous value by picking Virginia Tech tight end Bucky Hodges in the sixth round. The 6’6″, 257 lb Hodges ran a 4.57 second 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine, and was the 87th player on the Vikings Territory big board.
Here’s what folks around the web are saying about the Vikings’ sixth round pick:
“An impressive receiver with the ability to climb the ladder and go get the jump balls, though he needs to work on his route running and blocking as he continues to develop.”
Pro Football Focus
“Bucky Hodges is not a traditional in-line tight end, as he lined up on the line of scrimmage for just 17 out of 915 snaps last season. However, his production since 2014 is unmatched by the rest of the tight end class, as he led in snaps in route (1,112), targets (238), receptions (133), and yards (1,755).”
“Remember when the Vikings pursued Jared Cook in free agency? They wanted another tight end who could do damage over the middle of the field, and they’ll hope Bucky Hodges can help improve their passing game in a similar manner. The converted quarterback will need to refine his route-running skills in the NFL, but his physical traits (6-foot-6, a 4.57-second 40 and a 39-inch vertical leap) make him worth a look.”
Whoa… Bucky Hodges, the Va Tech TE #Vikings took ran a 4.5 40 & he's 6'6".
…and was recruited as a QB.
Guy is a "measurables" freak. pic.twitter.com/jgELksXNU6
— Chris Long (@ChrisLongKSTP) April 29, 2017
While Hodges is extremely gifted athletically, he is still a raw prospect. His route running is sketchy and needs to be tuned. He’ll often float instead of making cuts. As a blocker, Hodges generally overwhelmed defensive backs but didn’t show the strength to have consistent success against linemen or linebackers.
Spielman found another gem of a value here in the sixth round as Hodges fell from his mid-round projection. He continued to trade down until he knew he could get maximum value for Hodges.