2019 Raiders Draft Prospect Profile
Name: Khalil Hodge
Weight: 245 pounds
Round Projection: 3
For Hodge, no other attribute jumps off the page with appeal. While some prospects make business decisions to tackle, Hodge realizes that remains his ticket to Sundays. If you want to truly appreciate Hodge’s technique, look at his feet, hands and should. First, in space, he will not overrun or wildly pursue the ball. Hodge stays within playmaking space. That is to say, he does not have to arm tackle or reach back for the play after he could not break down fast enough to stop. In addition, Hodge brings technique to the table. His hands quickly wrap, securing the play and not allowing for dragging. As of this writing, Hodge tallied double-digit tackles in 24 of his 33 career games in Buffalo.
Like many bigger inside linebackers, Hodge may not blow the stopwatch away. Yet, he uses his speed with intelligence. For example, instincts take over and Hodge will meet the ball at the point where the ball is going. As a result, Hodge seems always around the ball. In regards to blitzing, Hodge clogs the A gap and forces the passer to the outside. Although, his sack total remains pedestrian (5.0), Hodge’s functional speed makes the offense choose.
Meanwhile, in coverage, Hodge plays adequately. While mostly operating in short zone and the occasional deep middle, he closes in to make the potential receiver pay.
Ironically, Hodge will bully tight ends and backs, with receivers catching brute force in blocking. On the other hand, Hodge will use power to pick a shoulder while taking on a lineman. In his mind, taking half a blocker could be smarter than trying to bulrush everyone in his path.
Despite using a downhill style, Hodge possess a quick backpedal. He will flow the direction of the ball and flip his hips with efficient quickness.
If you believe the Raiders will retain Paul Guenther, Hodge could sit in the middle. Guenther cherishes downhill MLB with attitude and the ability to surf through trash. Moreover, the rudderless linebacking cops needs a smart, instinctive leader, which is what Hodge can bring to the Raiders. For the first time in the Reggie McKenzie Era, the Raiders can have their choice of middle linebacker. If White and the two names are gone, Hodge could fit with a Day 2 selection.