Matthew Holst/Getty Images
You can view Gerald Hodges' complete scouting report from Scott Carasik by clicking here.
Not only does Hodges handle both zone and man coverage, but he can also switch targets in stride on the fly. He's capable of covering the flats, the middle of the field or even getting into deep coverage. Per Carasik:
Hodges will line up over slot receivers and can effectively snuff out screen passes. He's one of the few linebackers in this draft who can do that. He covers like someone who was a former safety and it shows on the field. He doesn't allow many yards after the catch despite going against bigger, more athletic targets regularly.
He flows to the ball well even when it's not his man or zone for him to get the player. He tracks the ball well in the air and can knock it away. He's able to show up on broken plays where he is called on for coverage and tackle a mobile quarterback trying to scramble. Overall, his man-to-man coverage is terrible, though.
Hodges is a converted safety that covers well but needs work to produce at the NFL level as a pass-rush specialist. He's not big enough to take on large linemen or very athletic blockers. Via Carasik:
On a delay blitz, there are few who can let the lane open and burst through it better. However, his deficiency in shedding blocks really hurts him here. He can set the edge well as a blitzer and tends to hold his contain well against mobile quarterbacks.
His best role would be to stunt and be used on delay blitzes. If he can ever learn how to not let the offensive linemen get their hands on him, he could be a much better player altogether as a blitzer. But as of now, this is something that would be better off doing sparingly.
Overall, Hodges ranks as the No. 16 OLB prospect in the 2013 NFL draft class.
Drafted: Round 4, Pick 23 (120), Minnesota Vikings