Tennessee quarterback Hendon Hooker. Photo By Andrew Ferguson/Tennessee Athletics.
Hendon Hooker has dazzled the Tennessee fanbase over the last two years.
And now, coming up in just a few months, an NFL fanbase will be able to welcome Hooker in as one of their team’s NFL Draft selections.
Despite an ACL surgery that took place in November, Hooker is working hard to be as prepared as he can be when the NFL Draft rolls around in April. The former Tennessee quarterback is currently at the Reese’s Senior Bowl this week going through the off-the-field portion of the event. According to Senior Bowl director Jim Nagy on Monday, Hooker and the other participants will have an opportunity to meet with all 32 NFL teams over the span of the week.
As reported by Tom Pelissero of the NFL Network on Monday, Hooker is off of crutches moving forward, which is a huge step in the recovery process. Hooker also told Pelissero that he believes he “should” be running by the end of March and will be ready for training camp.
That report on Monday certainly got the attention of NFL fans across the country.
Plenty of Saints fans quickly filled the comment section to make their voices heard. The Saints have been sort of the pseudo-Tennessee team of the NFL with four former Vols on the roster currently.
— Logan Graffia (@thesoulman57) January 30, 2023
More from RTI: Senior Bowl Provides NFL Communication for Hendon Hooker and Other Tennessee Players
Fans – and the media – in Dallas also have Hooker on their minds. While discussing Senior Bowl quarterbacks on 105.3 The Fan’s K&C Masterpiece show on Tuesday, Dallas radio host Kevin Hageland shared some thoughts on the former Tennessee quarterback.
“I like Hendon Hooker,” Hageland said. “There’s a couple of things to consider right there. I don’t know if I should fairly judge it like this but he is coming off an injury, one. Also, his Tennessee team beat the brakes off of Clemson without him in that bowl game. And then, also, he’s already 25 (years old). Again, those are just things to consider. I do think Hendon Hooker is very, very good. I like him better than Max Duggan. Like, I’m sorry to the TCU folk, I’m not trying to run him down or anything, but I would take Hooker over Duggan. For sure.”
Love to see @dallascowboys draft Hendon…. https://t.co/jdj9koAx35
— Jon Stimmell (@jon_stimmell) January 30, 2023
ESPN Draft experts Todd McShay, Jordan Reid, and Matt Miller each have Hooker listed as the fifth-best quarterback in the 2023 NFL Draft. CBS Sports’ position rankings have Hooker in the same spot as well.
Hooker has been projected as anywhere from a Day 2 to a Day 3 pick in the draft. Pro Football Network’s mock draft in mid-December had Hooker going No. 53 overall to the Seattle Seahawks.
The news from Pelissero on Monday is quite positive, though. If Hooker is able to be ready for training camp coming up later this year, it seems hard to believe that he would be on the board heading into the third day of the NFL Draft.
The 2023 NFL Draft will begin on Thursday, Apr. 27, and end on Saturday, Apr. 29.
Here are some more reactions from more NFL fans across the nation:
@jets get him!! https://t.co/T9wWWc56vm
— Emerson🇭🇹 (@EmersonStPierre) January 30, 2023
Lions 3rd round pick! https://t.co/SW5Qxuf775
— Kenny Lofton (@JustListenFam) January 30, 2023
I NEED denver to take a flyer on him. Big potential https://t.co/iHS0waT34x
— Phillip Beohm (@philly_5oh) January 30, 2023
Real talk: he could be lethal in the 49ers scheme. https://t.co/aEluclqs2C
— Daniel Vaughan (@dvaughanCI) January 30, 2023
Tampa Bay Bucs ready strike gold when they hire Kellen Moore and Draft Hooker in the mid rounds… Just watch 😂 https://t.co/VTMnuQbZNs
— ⚡️URGE 📷 (@SurgeTheShooter) January 30, 2023
I’d be cool with defense in the first round and Hooker in the 2nd too @Raiders https://t.co/BJnIB7l4p7
— Joey Bates (@bates_jw) January 30, 2023