Isn't the most instinctive of backers in space at this stage though. Doesn't have a ton of experience and gets caught staring into the backfield and can be late to recognize his pass keys. Possesses good range once he locates the football, but can get caught with his feet stuck in the mud at times trying to decipher information. Doesn't offer much as a blitzer at this stage. Has a good first step off the edge and can create a bit of a push on contact, but gets upright and struggles to slip/disengage.
Isn't the most instinctive of run defenders either. Has trouble consistently taking proper angles toward the football and will run himself out of plays and get caught up in traffic easily at times. Does display above-average power and range to his game, has the ability to anchor vs. lead blocks and runs well in pursuit. Wraps up well into contact and has a long set of arms that allow him to break down and make some plays off his frame on perimeter runs.
Impression: A nice athlete who has some real upside to his game from a mental aspect since he has only played linebacker for about two years. He has shown flashes and is worth a draft pick, but looks more like a backup/developmental starter to me who will need some time."
His career took a turn for the better in the spring of 2009, however, when a new coaching staff asked him to move to linebacker. That season, sixteen of his 72 tackles came behind the line of scrimmage, including 9.5 sacks, in his first season on defense. He also had an interception and four pass breakups. Coaches voted him first-team All-Big East in 2010 after he was credited with 95 tackles, 10.5 for loss and three sacks.
It doesn't take long to see Hogue's speed and athleticism. Though he's still raw as a linebacker, teams will likely see him as a worthwhile late-round pick who will fill a role on special teams and as a reserve as a chaser on the weak side while he tries to fulfill his potential.
Strengths: Works best in space and to the sideline, scraping to chase down backs before they get the corner. Has a strong safety build and is smooth in coverage of running backs and tight ends from the strong-side position. Gets his hands on a lot of passes by staying home. Good recovery speed when beat on play-action or misdirection. Used regularly on run and pass blitzes, can catch running backs from behind from the backside or wiggle through creases to track down quarterbacks in the pocket. Defeats cut blocks on the run.
Weaknesses: Lacks strength at the point of attack, losing leverage battles against fullbacks and tight ends and winds up on the ground too often. High-cut defender doesn't always break down easily in space. Ballcarriers can stiff-arm him easily. Does not beat blocks to reach the quarterback when blitzing. Has fair hands but dropped potential interceptions. Had arthroscopic surgery on right MCL/meniscus after an injury in the 2010 spring game.
Positive: Athletic linebacker who displays tremendous skill in space. Shows good awareness and instincts to quickly locate the ball. Gets depth on pass drops, displays outstanding skill in coverage, and constantly around the ball. Very aggressive and productive in his all-around game. Fluid pedaling in reverse and smooth opening his hips in transition. Stays with tight ends or running backs down the field, plays with explosiveness, and moves quickly in every direction. Immediately alters his angle of attack and loses no momentum. Breaks down well and uses his hands to protect himself.
Negative: Lacks bulk and easily controlled at the point of attack. Gives effort defending the run but not stout at the point.
Analysis: Hogue showed tremendous improvement the past two seasons and ranks as one of the more underrated weak side linebacker prospects in this draft. In many ways he reminds us of former Syracuse star Keith Bullock, and like the NFL veteran, Hogue should eventually find his way into a starting unit at the next level."
Negatives: Doesn't have great size or strength, will need to put on some bulk to make the transition to the NFL smoother... Inexperience at linebacker position shows, does not have great instincts, takes too long to diagnose plays and will get fooled by misdirection plays far too often... Struggles to get off blocks, does not have the size to overpower blockers and disrupt plays... Not the surest tackler, wraps up fairly well but does not have the strength to drag some ball carriers down after contact... Has some minor durability issues (knee injury), size may be some cause for concern in that area... Is still very raw, will likely need some time to adjust at the next level."
As a true freshman at Syracuse in 2007, he played RB and saw action in nine games, including four starts. Tallied 251 yards on 77 carries.
In 2008, he continued playing running back and had his best statistical year in college as a ball carrier, but then in 2009, he switched to LB and did pretty well.
In 2010, he really made his mark as a defender tallying 95 tackles, 10.5 TFLs, 3 sacks, 2 interceptions, 2 PBUs, 2 hurries, a FF and a blocked kick.
Strengths: Just really coming into his own as a defender, and is young with plenty of upside. A real upfield penetrator who makes a lot of plays in the backfield. Instinctive and tough. Flows to where the action is, and is a solid tackler. Can play in reverse and shows above average pass defense capabilities. All around package for an NFL WILL.
Weaknesses: New to the position. A little bit tightly wound. May have a learning curve and may get deked a lot and find himself out of position a lot. One year wonder as a LB.
Projection: 6-7th rounder. A real sleeper."
In the spring of 2009 Hogue made the move to linebacker where he started all 12 games. Despite the lack of experience, Hogue led the Big East in tackles-for-loss and ranked second in sacks. The unexpected success in 2009 led to high expectations in 2010 and Hogue did not disappoint. It has been the Syracuse defense that has led to their surprising season and Hogue has been the catalyst. Through the regular season the 6-2, 226 pound Yonkers, New York native tallied 89 tackles, 9.5 tackles-for-loss, 3.0 sacks, two interceptions and one forced fumble. For his efforts he was named to All-Conference First-Team.
For a player who has only spent 24 games at linebacker, Hogue will only get better. He has good speed and great instincts…whether it be hunting down the ball carrier or the quarterback. Hogue has solid hands which he developed during his days as a running back and he could even be a short yardage ball carrier in the NFL. However, his true position at the next level is as an outside linebacker and some team that has time to teach Hogue and allow him to learn more about the position will be getting a steal in the fourth or fifth round. "
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