Stephen Hodge, OLB/SS, Texas Christian

Scouting Reports of inside and outside linebackers in the 2009 NFL Draft
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Stephen Hodge, OLB/SS, Texas Christian

Postby Pudge » Sat Jun 11, 2011 4:39 am

Stephen Hodge
6-0/233 Texas Christian
4.58 Senior

Pros: A good run stopper that plays well in the box. Is a nice tackler with pop and does a good job wrapping up defender. Works well in the short zone in coverage. Nice blitzer off the edge. Returns kicks and is a physical runner.

Cons: Lacks great speed or closing burst. Struggles in coverage and not going to make much an impact there. Lowers head a bit too much when tackling. Due to lack of speed, not going to be a factor as a return man.

Overview: He's a fairly one-dimensional player that is listed as a strong safety, but basically works in the box almost every down as an extra linebacker. Probably going to move to that position at the next level. Only year as a full-time starter as a senior. Was arrested in April 2007 for shooting a gun up into the air, but case was eventually dismissed.

NFL Forecast: Hodge can make it as a linebacker at the next level, although he doesn't have great upside. Will need to get bigger and stronger vs. the run, but shouldn't be too bad at the point of attack at the next level. He'll fit nicely as a WILL guy in a scheme that values speed over size. I think he could be make a capable starter, but won't be a real playmaker. Just a guy that help and make plays in pursuit. Also I think it wouldn't be crazy that if he doesn't take to linebacker, that a team might even consider converting him to fullback. Doesn't have experience there, but neither did Spencer Larsen when the Broncos converted him last year.

ATL Forecast: Hodge could make a nice pickup for the Falcons at weakside linebacker where he can add some depth. Probably doesn't have the ideal upside to start for the team, but in time could develop into a competent starter. But more than likely, eventually the team will look for a guy that can be more of a playmaker. I see him helping out on special teams for a few years and then maybe becoming an OK starter and then probably returning to the bench when that upgrade eventually

Value: He's got some potential, but he's too much of a tweener and project to be comfortable picking him before the sixth round.
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