With so much emphasis placed on Detroit’s front three selections in April’s draft, former Syracuse stand out Doug Hogue’s abilities have gone widely overlooked.
Though Hogue is an exceptional athlete, he is still learning the proper technique vital to the outside linebacker position. He has made a name for himself for his ability to cover a lot of ground with the propensity to make big plays from sideline to sideline.
Hogue possesses the necessary skills to become a game changing pass rusher in Detroit’s defense if taught proper technique. Look for the Lions to construct blitz packages utilizing his straight line speed.
In only two years at outside linebacker at Syracuse, Hogue has shown great promise in his ability to quickly grasp the fundamental defensive concepts essential to succeeding at the position.
If you’re talking to Detroit Lions head coach Jim Schwartz about draft selections or young free agents signings, he’s talking about developmental potential.
Jim Schwartz considers the raw young backer to be oozing with potential.
Schwartz has been quoted in believing that Hogue has an “NFL skill set.”
“A little bit of a work in progress, but we think a guy that we can work with that fits exactly what we're looking for in a linebacker and has a chance to really develop for us; can be a special teams player and has the possibility to develop into a linebacker role also.” Schwartz said.
A member of the Bill Belichick coaching tree, Jim Schwartz has a keen eye for raw defensive talent. He is responsible for the drafting and development of NFL linebackers Ray Lewis, Keith Bullock, Jamie Sharper, Stephen Tulloch, and Peter Boulware.
All of whom were considered to be athletically raw talents entering the league.
The Detroit Lions weren’t the only team to express interest in Hogue. The New York Jets, New England Patriots, and New York Giants all took a strong look at the Syracuse product.
Detroit knew that Hogue was a valued late round commodity on those teams’ draft boards and pulled the trigger with the 157th overall pick in the fifth round of April’s draft.
“We were still sitting on the board as we looked. We had a group of about two or three guys that we talked about and he was the guy that made the most sense for us. He matched the profile that we were looking for; had the skill set that we were looking for; had some plays on tape that we were looking for. We'd done a lot of work with this player and I think the opportunity matched up with his availability,” Schwartz said during a Lions press conference following the draft.
In comparison to other outside linebackers available in last April’s draft, Hogue tested better in the 40-yard dash, vertical jump, and had more bench repetitions than first round projection Akeem Ayers.
Hogue is an athletic, field fast special teams monster that is capable with the right direction to contribute immediately to Detroit’s weak side of their 4-3 defense.
Look for Hogue to make an impact early and often in Detroit.