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 Post subject: Aaron Hernandez, TE, Florida
PostPosted: Sun Apr 11, 2010 8:22 pm 
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Location: Edina, Minnesota
Pros- Pretty good size as well as good speed and quickness. Catches the large majority of passes with his hands and can make catches away from his body. Seems to have pretty good body control and is very elusive after the catch. In addition he is a tough runner, which makes him dangerous after he turns upfield or when he is in open space. Runs solid routes also. He also flashes good ability to block. He has a good initial pop and occasionally shows the ability to sustain.

Cons- He doesn’t block often but when he does he struggles to sustain the block and at times will whiff on his assignment. He will occasionally body catch, though it is fairly rare. He struggles to hit a moving target at times despite his athleticism. He could stand to get stronger to help him get off the line better since he was often used in the slot. He will have to adjust to playing inline far more often in a pro-style offense. I have not seen him pass block much at all, so he will have a bit of a learning curve in that respect.

Overall: I like Hernandez a lot as a prospect. He is a good receiver and he is good for yardage after the catch also. He catches the ball with his hands and has the quickness to run good routes, he just needs to learn how to better. If he can improve his blocking so that he can at least wall off larger players as a blocker and sustain his blocks better he will be a much more complete tight end. He will be a quality threat as a receiver as a rookie in my opinion, but as he gains experience and coaching he can develop into a better receiver, blocker and all-around tight end if he works hard.

Projection: 2nd-3rd: This is a pretty good TE class. There isn’t a lot of top end talent that will go in the first round however, so there is a bit of a glut of quality TE’s who will come off the board starting in round 2. Hernandez is in the top 5 of TE’s in this class in my opinion and that means he could very well come off the board in the 2nd, but he could slide into the early 3rd round range if Gresham, Gronkowski and potentially Dickson or Graham go ahead of him in the 2nd round.

SKILLS
1-poor, 2-weak, 3-above average, 4-very good, 5-elite

SPEED: 4.0
HANDS: 4.0
BLOCKING: 2.0
BODY CONTROL: 3.5
RANGE: 4.0

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 Post subject: Re: Aaron Hernandez, TE, Florida
PostPosted: Thu Apr 15, 2010 12:39 am 
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Location: North Carolina
AARON HERNANDEZ
6-3/243
Florida Junior
40: 4.65 (Campus)

PROS: Has good, strong hands, and can make the catch in traffic. Good body control, adjusts to throw, and attacks ball in the air. Shows the sudden burst and straight-line speed to make plays. Flashes potential as a route-runner, able to separate. Makes plays after the catch because he's shifty, and shows toughness fighting for extra yards. Breaks off routes and comfortable finding open spots in the zone. Shows he's an effective lead blocker as an H-back, able to deliver blow to linebacker.
CONS: Not a true burner in terms of his speed to challenge vertically. Misses assignments when asked to block in space. Lacks pop as an inline blocker which he rarely does. Doesn't show good hand placement there and isn't able to get position. Is too easily shed by defenders out on the edge. Doesn't always secure the ball against his body when running after the catch, carrying it like a loaf of bread, making me question if ball security could become an issue.
OVERVIEW: He's a good receiver that is an undersized tight end. Led Florida in receptions, and tended to be their go-to target on offense. Finished year with 68 catches, 850 yards, and 5 scores. Catches and yards doubled his total from 2008 when he was also the starter.
NFL FORECAST: Hernandez isn't going to be an inline tight end at the next level. If he can get stronger, putting on another 10-15 pounds he might have a chance. But he'll always be considered a liability there. It's not from a lack of effort or toughness, but his size will always limit him. But he can be a successful H-back at the next level. For a team that has another tight end that can work inline as a blocker, he would be a good option to have. For an offense that will work him behind the line of scrimmage and move him out in the slot, they will have a good receiver. In the right offense, he can put up excellent production. His athleticism, hands, and speed at times will remind me of Tony Gonzalez. If he can really refine his route-running, then he could be a receiver in the same mold as Gonzalez in that he can be a matchup nightmare.
ATL FORECAST: I think Hernandez can give the Falcons exactly what Gonzalez did this past year, and would be a good player to groom behind Gonzo for at least a year. If Gonzo retired after this year, then Hernandez should be ready to step in and fill his mantle after spending a year getting tutored by Gonzo. They would not really work well in tandem, but the minute Gonzo is gone, then Hernandez would be a good continuation with comparable potential in production. Hernandez is only really about an inch and a half shorter than Gonzo right now, and like Gonzo wouldn't be much as a blocker. He'd always be a bit of a liability, but if you're catching 60-80 passes a year, no one really cares. The Falcons showed this past year willingness to split Gonzo out wide, a role that Hernandez could excel in. He might have to ride the bench for a year or two, but the minute he gets his opportunity, I would expect him to be a Pro Bowler.
VALUE: Hernandez is a first rounder but only in an offense that doesn't mind him not blocking and will put him in favorable matchups.

SKILLS
1-poor, 2-weak, 3-above average, 4-very good, 5-elite

SPEED: 4.0
HANDS: 4.0
BLOCKING: 1.5
BODY CONTROL: 4.0
RANGE: 4.0

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