Saying Goodbye–The Hawk
After a dreadful game against Arizona last year, I was a little weary of Lavelle taking the big snaps. That was dumb of me. Hawkins has made great strides since then, his work ethic carrying him to a higher plateau I’d never thought he’d reach. If he can keep at it (and it appears he has in his post-Cal career), he is going to shine in the NFL.
Strengths: Great adjustment player. If the quarterback underthrew a ball, he repositioned himself to find the ball (like with Henne on the Senior Bowl TD); if he overthrew it, he found a way to catch it (like on Longshore’s errant throw/Hawk’s brilliant adjustment in the USC game). He has pretty great leaping ability on the fade route. He runs great routes. Versatile seems like the proper word to describe his play.
Weaknesses: Sadly, the Hawk doesn’t sound like it’ll catch on in NFL stadiums. But if he manages to do it, good for him. He does still try to chest-catch rather than use his hands though (resulting in some dropped balls), so that might require some tinkering. Plus he’s not as quick as Jackson or Jordan. These seem like minor deficiencies though.
Signature moment: That catch in the USC game was phenomenal (skip to 5:17 to avoid the pain before that).
Pro outlook: Pretty good I’d say–Hawkins has been fairly consistent with either quarterback throwing to him. He’s played second fiddle to DeSean when necessary (Oregon and UCLA in particular), but he’s also shined on his own when Jackson drew double teams and heavy coverage. He has a great chance to shine as a starting receiver–not necessarily the star, but definitely a powerful second option.
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