Round 4: TE Austin Hooper, Stanford
The Packers need an upgrade at tight end. Since losing Jermichael Finley in 2013, the offense has lacked a pass-catching tight end who can open up the middle of the field. Richard Rodgers looks like a complementary piece at this stage, and there’s a strong chance Andrew Quarless – a pending free agent – doesn’t return.
Hunter Henry is the No. 1 tight end in this class, but would likely require a first round pick. In the mid-rounds, the Packers could find a steal in Austin Hooper out of Stanford. Hooper could be the missing piece in the Green Bay passing game.
Hooper runs crisp routes and backs it up with strong hands. Unlike Rodgers, he can gain yards after the catch. What’s exciting to see is his ability to make catches in traffic, which is a key asset to have as a tight end.
Hooper is a big target who could create mismatches down the field in the passing game, which what the Packers’ offense is crying out for. Mike McCarthy loves to use his tight ends effectively, but has lacked the personnel the past two years. Adding a player like Hooper could change that.
Next: Round 5