PROS: Shows good strength and potential as a blocker and able to get into the defensive end. Has the ability to seal the edge. Shows some body control as a receiver, able to make a grab on the sideline.
CONS: Needs more polish as a blocker. Doesn't play with consistent pop off the snap and doesn't always get good position. Overly relies on strength and needs to do a better job using his hands and locking on. Doesn't get a great relase off the line and lacks speed to challenge downfield.
OVERVIEW: Basically a blocking tight end. Used a lot in double tight end formations in Illinois spread attack along with Jeff Cumberland. Logged 21 starts. Best year was as a junior, where he started 8 games and caught 25 passes and 2 scores. Name is pronounced Hoh-OOM-uh-nah-wah-NOO-ee.
NFL FORECAST: He has the potential to be one of the premier blocking tight ends in the league, but needs to improve his technique. Right now, he's just more bigger and stronger than most the guys he faces in college. But he won't have that luxury in the pros since the smallest ends he'll be asked to block and chip are his size and he'll face linebackers that are often 20-30 pounds heavier than who he faced in the Big Ten. He has very limited upside offensively. Sure he can catch a few passes, but if he has more than 10 catches in a year, I'll be shocked. So if he cannot improve his blocking technique, he has very limited value for the pro game. So it's possible that four years from now, he'll be out of the league. Or it's possible he starts in an offense that uses a lot of double tight end sets and asks the No. 2 guy to block most of the time, just like a role that Jim Kleinsasser and Brandon Manumaleuna have carved out for themselves.
ATL FORECAST: He fits in Atlanta more as the traditional tight end prospect that Mularkey prefers, a blocker first, a receiver a very distant second. He has a chance to come to Atlanta and replace a guy like Justin Peelle as the long-term No. 2 guy. But now that the Falcons have had a taste of what a dynamic receiving tight end can do, don't expect Mularkey to go back to having a pure blocker start like he did with Ben Hartsock in 2008. His challenge will be whether or not he can beat out Keith Zinger. While he has more upside than Zinger, he isn't quite as polished as Zinger. And he probably wouldn't be in a position to unseat Zinger for at least a year or two. By his third year he could have passed Zinger, never to look back, or still mired as the No. 3 guy on the depth chart never to rise.
VALUE: Because of his lack of polish, you're safer taking him in the seventh, but his upside makes it so that a team desperate for a blocking tight end with upside, could pull the trigger in the late fourth/early fifth.
1-poor, 2-weak, 3-above average, 4-very good, 5-elite
BODY CONTROL: 2.5
"Vincere scis, Hannibal, victoria uti nescis" -- Maharbal, 216 B.C.E.