According to ESPN’s Rob Demovsky, top free agent target Austin Hooper, formerly of the Atlanta Falcons, is expected to get some offers made to him; one of which is likely coming from Green Bay. With that being said, why exactly would Hooper signing with Green Bay make sense?
#3: He can play multiple positions if needed.
Hooper, who is 6’4″, 245lbs, will most likely be used as a field-stretching, athletic pass catcher for Rodgers, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. If needed though, he could end up lining up out wide on certain pass plays which would not only be a nightmare for defensive coordinators (pick your poison as far as who to cover downfield), but he also can provide Rodgers with a legitimate pass catching threat down the middle of the field as well. Hooper fits the mold in Green Bay — he’s versatile, reliable, and athletic.
#2: He’d be a great replacement for Jimmy Graham.
Hooper would also end up replacing the departing Jimmy Graham, of which he would be the perfect replacement for. Since 2018 (while Graham was with Green Bay), Hooper has had significantly better success in Atlanta than Graham has with Green Bay. Their stats are as follows:
Now, as far as production on paper, Hooper blows Graham out of the water in nearly every one. He’s also eight years younger than Graham too which means he’s got far less wear and tear than Graham. Yes, Graham came up big in the playoffs this past postseason, racking up 108 yards on 7 catches to go along with 4 first downs. Overall though, he wasn’t the answer at tight end in Green Bay. Hooper, on the other hand, could very well be as a replacement for the newly departed Graham.
#1: He can make Green Bay’s passing game potent once again.
With the exception of Davante Adams, Green Bay had a rather lackluster passing attack in 2019. Nabbing Austin Hooper in free agency would change that dramatically for the better. He would not only add an element of suprise for Green Bay offensively, but he would also provide another reliable target for Aaron Rodgers. In 29 career games, Hooper has tallied a total of 146 receptions for 1,446 yards, and 10 touchdowns. Of those 146, 5 were dropped. His catchable pass percentage in 2019 was 77.8% ( on 77 total targets), which ranked 27th. However, his overall catch rate in 2019 was 77.3%, which ranked 6th. His true catch percentage was off the charts at 97.4% (2nd). Furthermore, he showed that he is a legitimate threat when it came to catching contested passes. He ranked 2nd in 2019 with a 47.1% contested catch percentage (17 total targets). Lastly, he has a relationship with current Packers head coach Matt LaFleur; as LaFleur was the quarterback coach of Atlanta in 2016. If the dominoes fall right during the free agency period, we could very well see Austin Hooper catching passes from Aaron Rodgers next season — and for what it’s worth, let’s hope they do.
Follow me on Twitter at @ParkerMoes and follow us @OTHWisconsin for more great content! Also, be sure to check out the Overtime Heroics Forums page to join in on the discussion. To read more of our articles and keep up to date on the latest in Wisconsin sports, click here!