National media outlet makes trade proposal that would be bad news for former Vols QB Hendon Hooker

Yardbarker

Former Tennesse Vols quarterback Hendon Hooker, a third round selection by the Detroit Lions in the 2023 NFL Draft, is expected to be the primary backup to quarterback Jared Goff this fall. 

Goff, a former No. 1 overall NFL draft pick, signed a four year extension earlier this offseason that locks him in as the Lions’ starting quarterback for the foreseeable future. 

Hooker, who missed nearly his entire rookie season while recovering from a torn ACL, should be “the guy” for Detroit in the event that Goff has to miss time. 

CBS Sports, however, isn’t so sure that Hooker is ready to be a primary backup in the NFL. As a result, they suggested this week that Detroit should trade for Atlanta Falcons backup quarterback Taylor Heinicke. 

From CBS Sports: Hooker has a third-round pedigree, but he’s 26 and still in the learning stages of the No. 2 role, fresh off a “redshirt” season spent recovering from a torn ACL. Heinicke is a different animal, starting 28 games the last three years and showcasing enough spunk as a gutsy passer to win over multiple fan bases. He’d be sure to get the Dan Campbell stamp of approval for his never-say-die mentality, and his role is fuzzier with the Atlanta Falcons after the dual addition of Kirk Cousins and Michael Penix Jr.

There’s no doubt that Heinicke has more experience than Hooker, but Hooker has a higher ceiling. 

Combine the upside and the low cost of Hooker’s rookie contract and it’s easy to see why the Lions are hoping that the former Vol can develop into a high-level backup, providing insurance in the event that Goff is injured. 

 “We need to feel like, by the end of camp, this guy, he can run this offense,” said Lions head coach Dan Campbell earlier this offseason when asked about Hooker. “He can be somebody we know that, man, we can play the game a certain way with him, we know he’s gonna be able to process the information, he’s gonna get us in the right play and he’s gonna keep the ship afloat. That’s it.”

Hooker is likely going to get all of training camp to prove that he’s a solid No. 2 option for the Lions. If things aren’t going well by the end of training camp, then maybe Detroit looks to add an experienced backup like Heinicke. Of course, that would obviously be bad news for Hooker. Not only would it mean that Hooker isn’t developing as hoped, but it would also push him further away from a potential starting opportunity in the NFL. 

For now, though, it’s far too early to speculate on where Hooker will be by the end of preseason action. Let’s see him in some games and in some intense practice periods before we start making quarterback trade proposals for the Lions. 

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