Virginia Tech tight end Bucky Hodges will reportedly forego his final season of collegiate eligibility and enter the NFL Draft
Virginia Tech tight end-turned-wide receiver Bucky Hodges will reportedly enter the 2017 NFL Draft, as first reported by Neil Stratton on Twitter. Virginia Tech has yet to confirm Hodges’ status at the present time.
Hodges has chosen Lagardere Sports as his professional representation for the draft, which if true, makes him no longer an amateur athlete and thus primed to enter the NFL in April.
Bucky Hodges completed his 2016 season with the Hokies on Thursday night with a 35-24 Belk Bowl victory over Arkansas in Charlotte. In his final collegiate game, Hodges caught five passes for 51 yards.
On the 2016 season, Hodges caught 48 passes for 691 yards and seven touchdowns, completing a stellar collegiate career in which he accumulated 1,747 yards receiving with 20 touchdowns.
The reports filtering out about Hodges leaving for the NFL are hardly a surprise, considering that the draft stock of Hodges is unlikely to be any higher than it is right now, even if he returned for his senior season.
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The redshirt-junior graduated from Virginia Tech earlier this month with a degree in Human Development, making it even more unlikely that he would return given where he is currently projected to be drafted by many exterior outlets.
There are many, many mock drafts being released this time of year, but the consensus scouting report on Bucky Hodges is that he has strong route-running ability and a penchant for winning 50-50 balls with his 6’7″ frame. It is unclear if Hodges will project as a true tight end at the next level, given that he has limited experience as an in-line tight end with how he was utilized at Virginia Tech.
Hodges is projected to go anywhere from the late first to early third round, depending on what mock draft is being assessed. A realistic spot for Hodges to be picked is somewhere in the middle of the second round given his high upside as a quality receiver at the next level.