Generally, it takes tight ends three years to develop in the NFL. This was the case for Hooper who finished his third season with a career-high 71 receptions, 660 yards, and four touchdowns. He played in all 16 games and finished as the TE6. Former Titans head coach, Mike Mularkey, is the new tight ends coach for the Falcons and should help Hooper develop his skillset.
Rich Hribar found that out of all current tight ends with 10 career touchdowns or more, Hooper, by percentage, is the most dependent on touchdowns scored inside the 10-yard line at 80%. Hooper is above Jack Doyle (71%), Jordan Reed (70%), and Hunter Henry (67%). Hooper flashed his potential by finishing the season as the TE6 but he was not consistent on a weekly basis. He only finished as a top-six tight end in five games. Additionally, he was a TE2 in seven games and a TE3 or worse in three games. Last year, his worst performance happened in the fantasy playoffs when he had one target and zero receptions against the Cardinals in Week 15.
2019 Bottom Line
Hooper may not have the ceiling to finish as a top-three tight end but he has the potential to return value for drafters who are comfortable waiting on selecting a tight end. He is being drafted outside of the top 10 tight ends but proved, as the TE6 last season, he has the ability to surpass his average draft position.