2014 NFL Draft Prospect to Watch: BYU WR Cody Hoffman

BYU’s Cody Hoffman is a terrific possession receiver, but he lacks the dynamic athleticism of an top draft pick at the position. (Photo: Jake Roth — USA Today Sports)

BBD Staff Writer: Joe Marino

BYU senior wide receiver Cody Hoffman is already one of the most prolific receivers in the history of BYU football.  Entering the 2013 season, Hoffman is only 18 receptions behind Dennis Pitta from becoming the program’s all-time leading receiver. He has 203 catches for 2,718 yards and 28 touchdowns in his career. Last season as a junior, he had 100 catches for 1,248 yards and 11 touchdowns.

Hoffman’s numbers are indicative of just how productive a player he is. He has already started 36 games in his career.

According to BYU’s official team site, Hoffman is 6’4’’ and 215 pounds. He has tremendous size and length for his position. He lines up in numerous spots for the Cougars and is effective as both an inside and outside player.

Hoffman is high on just about everyone’s wide receiver rankings entering his senior season. His size and production make him a viable candidate to have high on those early lists.

Hoffman has has the makings of a very solid professional wide receiver but also has some things to work on.

Why You Should Watch Hoffman in 2013

Hoffman is a very good catcher of the football. He has excellent body control and tracks the ball well. He is a pure hands catcher and does not rely on his body to trap the football.

Hoffman is quicker than fast and does a good job creating separation with his ability to get in and out of breaks. He can also get open by using his ability to sit in zones and find soft spots in coverage. He is a typical possession-style receiver and an overall solid route runner.

Hoffman has great ability as a sideline catcher. He can position himself well, catch the ball and get his feet down very naturally. He works the sidelines and intermediate routes very well. He is a very well-balanced player.

Hoffman will compete for the football at all times. He will make tough catches over the middle and does not seem to be afraid of taking a hit. He goes into traffic and competes.

The Cougars have relied heavily on Hoffman and he has consistently delivered for them. He was a clear first option on third-down and red zone opportunities last season.

What Hoffman Needs to Prove in 2013

Don’t confuse Hoffman for being an explosive player. He does not have good speed and will not get behind NFL secondaries. I don not foresee him getting much faster at this point and do not anticipate his timed speed being very good. Simply put, he is not dynamic with the ball in his hands and is strictly a possession receiver.

Hoffman does not consistently beat press coverage and will struggle to get off the line at times. He needs to get stronger and develop the ability to win off the line when he is pressed; professional teams will exploit this weakness and it must improve. It doesn’t matter how good of a route runner he is or how good his hands are if he cannot get into his route by getting off the line.

Hoffman is a below-average blocker. He struggles to break down in space and make contact with players. Defenders can blow by him and make tackles with ease.

Projecting Hoffman’s Draft Stock

There is no questioning Hoffman as a highly-productive college receiver. He has the size, hands and route running that will give him a chance as a pro. However, his lack of athleticism and strength are concerning at this point. I don’t hand out first round-grades to players who I don’t think are dynamic. Therefore, I currently have a third-to-fourth round grade on him.

His skill set reminds me in many ways of former Buffalo Bills receiver David Nelson, and I project him to help a team in similar ways that Nelson did over his career as a Buffalo Bill.

He can help teams on third down and find ways to get open. However, I don’t think he is someone a team will design opportunities for to get him open. I project him to be a third-down possession receiver with number two receiver upside. If Hoffman does develop some increased athleticism, he could be great.

Tags: 2014 NFL Draft, BYU, Cody Hoffman, Possession Receivers, Prospects to Watch, Wide Receivers

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