As we continue our series of 2011 NFL Draft prospect profiles let's look at an intriguing player who undoubtedly would carry the 'project' label into the NFL. That would be Syracuse linebacker Doug Hogue.
Hogue is a converted running back with only two years of experience as a collegiate linebacker. He played well enough to earn invitations to play in the East-West Shrine Game and to participate in the upcoming NFL Scouting Combine.
To me, Hogue sounds like an intriguing "high-upside" kind of player who might be worth taking a gamble on in the later stages of the draft.
Scouting reports after the jump.
LB, Syracuse (Sr.)
6-foot-2, 226 pounds
From FF Toolbox:
Through the regular season the 6-2, 226 pound Yonkers, New York native tallied 89 tackles, 9.5 tackles-for-loss, 3.0 sacks, two interceptions and one forced fumble. For his efforts he was named to the All-Conference First-Team.
For a player who has only spent 24 games at linebacker, Hogue will only get better. He has good speed and great instincts…whether it be hunting down the ball carrier or the quarterback. Hogue has solid hands, which he developed during his days as a running back and he could even be a short yardage ball carrier in the NFL. However, his true position at the next level is as an outside linebacker and some team that has time to teach Hogue and allow him to learn more about the position will be getting a steal in the fourth or fifth round.
From National Football Post:
A former collegiate running back who made the transition to the defensive side of the ball during the spring of his junior year. Possesses a thickly built upper body, but is a bit narrow in the lower half and looks thin in the calves. However, displays good body control and fluidity in his drop. Gets good depth off the line, can cleanly open up his hips and gets back up to speed when asked to turn and run. Isn't the most instinctive of backers in space at this stage though. Doesn't have a ton of experience and gets caught staring into the backfield and can be late to recognize his pass keys. Possesses good range once he locates the football, but can get caught with his feet stuck in the mud at times trying to decipher information. Doesn't offer much as a blitzer at this stage. Has a good first step off the edge and can create a bit of a push on contact, but gets upright and struggles to slip/disengage.
Isn't the most instinctive of run defenders either. Has trouble consistently taking proper angles toward the football and will run himself out of plays and get caught up in traffic easily at times. Does display above-average power and range to his game, has the ability to anchor vs. lead blocks and runs well in pursuit. Wraps up well into contact and has a long set of arms that allow him to break down and make some plays off his frame on perimeter runs.
Impression: A nice athlete who has some real upside to his game from a mental aspect since he has only played linebacker for about two years. He has shown flashes and is worth a draft pick, but looks more like a backup/developmental starter to me who will need some time.