Lions spend some extra time with Hendon Hooker early in Senior Bowl week

SideLion Report

It’s easy to overreact to such things, but the Detroit Lions had a extra chat session with Tennessee quarterback Hendon Hooker at the Senior Bowl on Tuesday.

A mere mention of any quarterback the Detroit Lions could procure to (even eventually) replace Jared Goff will draw ire from fans, as if Goff is an infallible signal caller who just can’t be replaced. The draft will offer some options, certainly late-round, including Tennessee quarterback Hendon Hooker.

Yes, Hooker’s final college season at Tennessee was shortened by a torn ACL. But up until then he was in the Heisman Trophy conversation (3,135 passing yards, 27 touchdowns, two interceptions). The timing of the injury says he won’t be ready to play until well into his rookie season, not that an NFL team would install him as their immediate starter anyway. Critics (even if he was healthy right now) will point to his age, as he turned 25 in mid-January.

Detroit Lions took opportunity for extra time with Hendon Hooker at Senior Bowl

Every draft prospect at the Senior Bowl will meet with all 32 teams. But there is certainly opportunity for less formal meetings, and on Tuesday the Lions chatted with Hooker after the American team’s practice session.

Via Jeff Risdon of Lions Wire, who is on-site in Mobile this week.

Right after the late-afternoon practice ended, Hooker made a beeline directly to Lions assistant GM Ray Agnew on the field. The two shared a warm embrace, clearly having spent some time together before. They conversed for several minutes, with a couple of Lion staffers — including longtime long snapper Don Muhlbach — also joining in the conversation with Hooker.

Hooker was regarded as a Day 2 prospect before his injury. He’s now more likely a Day 3 pick. His injured left leg is still pretty heavily wrapped, though via ESPN’s Pete Thamel he did say he expects to be ready for training camp.

During his season-ending press conference, Lions general manager Brad Holmes placed priority on the No. 2 quarterback spot and said there was “a lot of merit” to the idea of drafting someone  who can develop behind Goff.

Via Nolan Bianchi of The Detroit News, Hooker’s comments on Tuesday align with that notion. Not that he’d say much else right now, as he rehabs his knee.

I’d be ecstatic,” Hooker said about the possibility of being drafted to develop under a current starter.

It’s a blessing to be in this position that I’m in. Not a lot of people get to be in this position. So either way it goes, I’m gonna come in, be a sponge, soak up all the information that I can, learn, and when it’s my time to go on the field, I’m gonna take advantage of my opportunity.”

It’s easy to overrate things like this, and social media can start firestorms of speculation. But the Lions should be doing as much due diligence on incoming draft prospects this week as they can, regardless of position. And meetings like this are opportunities for Hooker to present himself, since he can’t do anything on the field this week.

Articles You May Like

Lions build up interior defensive line in Draft Wire’s pre-training camp mock draft
The one huge reason why Jared Goff is a better Lions quarterback than Matthew Stafford ever was
Lions roster longshots: Getting to know RB Jake Funk
Discussion: Which Detroit Lions player are people sleeping on this year?
Training camp preview: Breaking down the overhauled CB room

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *