It is no secret that the New York Giants offense is hurting for a serviceable tight end. Not only have they met with O.J. Howard and David Njoku during the NFL Scouting Combine, you can also add Virginia Tech’s Bucky Hodges to that list. He admitted in an interview that he would visit with the New York Giants. Hodges himself proved to be quite the athlete, posting one the best vertical and broad jumps out of anyone in the tight end position.
The league is known to acquire athletic freaks and try to develop them as the next unstoppable tight end. These elite athletes often do not even start their athletic careers paying tight end and this would be the case for Hodges as well. In fact, Hodges started off as a wide receiver and his coaches at Virginia Tech would make the switch.
“The defensive coordinator at Virginia Tech came to me, presented the idea that the team was facing a very good TE at the time and he said I could emulate his game a lot so he asked me if I’d be cool playing tight end that week, and I started playing it and I fell in love with the position and it stuck ever since,” Hodges said.
However, Hodges does not mind what position he has to play. If a team views him as a wide receiver, he has no issues playing there.
“Teams have talked to me about both angles, but most times teams talk to me about playing TE,” Hodges said. “But I have talked to teams about playing receiver. Like I said, I’m comfortable playing wherever I can make a difference on the field and at many different spots, so I’m accepting any type of responsibility.”
It is key to note that because of this, teams have been telling him what position they see Hodges would play for under them. Luckily for us, Hodges was asked on what the Giants thought of him and he simply responded, “tight end.”
With his origins playing wide out, Hodges is confident in his ability to run routes. Often, most of these athletes who try and play tight end solely rely on their athleticism which is why we have seen a lot of athletic busts. For Hodges, his experience as a wide receier will be key to his success in the NFL.
“I feel like I can run any route,” Hodges said. “I’m conformable with the entire route tree. I played WR this past year in our offense — we had a new offense. I was asked to run a lot of different routes so there was nothing I feel uncomfortable running; I can run any route.”
But receiving is only half the job of a tight end. As the Giants can attest to, blocking for a tight end is extremely important. Hodges believes he can do it all. “I’m tough,” Hodges said. “I’m not scared to put my helmet into anyone’s face. If you’re playing against me, I’m going at you the whole game—run play, pass play, that’s the type of player I am. I’m still raw fundamental wise, and technique wise, but I know I’m capable of it because of my work ethic and I’m pretty confident I’ll be a good blocker.”