As a run blocker, he possesses the length and power to handle linebackers who line up over his face and has the lower body strength to drive them off the ball. However, although he is athletic enough to get his feet around defensive ends off the snap and seal, he lacks the base to consistently set the edge on the outside and is too often defeated on contact. Nevertheless, he does look natural getting out to the second level and sealing down the field.
In the pass game, he isn’t overly explosive off the snap and really seems to lumber as he’s asked to go further down the field. However, he does a nice job cleanly releasing off the line and has the body control and short-area quickness to create separation for himself out of his breaks. Exhibits clean footwork and good overall balance, which enables him to quickly get back up to speed when changing directions. And he gets his head around quickly and plucks the football well on all areas the field. Now, he isn’t a guy who will consistently create after the catch or make anyone miss, but he’s a load to bring down and will fight for additional yards. Displays a good overall feel in the pass game when asked to recognize zone coverages and consistently is able to find soft spots down in the red zone.
Impression: He lacks great power/pop as a run blocker vs. defensive linemen, but is a coordinated individual who, with some added girth, could mature into a low-end starter at the next level. But, I think I would like him a lot more as my number two tight end because he really isn’t dynamic in any area of the game."
Negatives: Despite his size, long arms and experience in a pro-style offense, remains a bit of a project as a blocker. Provides a good initial punch as a run blocker, but lacks the upper-body strength to sustain and is too often discarded. Works to meet and wall off the defender from the ballcarrier, but struggles to set and hold the edge. Has to do a better job of sinking his hips, planting his foot in the ground and creating some explosion out of his cuts. Can be lazy in his route-running. Isn't particularly elusive after the catch and doesn't have the explosiveness to consistently beat defenders down the seam."
Stocker is an under rated tight end prospect.
Stocker is a safe prospect. He has good size, average speed and athleticism, and has great awareness. He generally takes the right angles and uses the proper leverage when making his blocks, and is also a solid down-field blocker. Offensively, he’s not an amazing athlete, but finds a way to get open and hauls in passes with his reliable, soft hands. A very hard worker. Relentless. Could easily be talked about among the top 2-3 tight ends in this class if it weren’t for his “boring” game. Stocker is also a very tough player, as he dealt with several injuries throughout his college career, but found a way to play threw most of them.
Not a freak athlete, and doesn’t have elite agility or elusiveness. He can make plays by going up for the ball or finishing a catch following a hard hit, but he can’t do much damage after the catch. Not a consistent route-runner. Is a very good blocker, but can sometimes use the wrong hand placement. Main issue with his blocking is his inconsistent performance at the point of attack. Needs to fire on all cylinders in both aspects of his position to become a more complete tight end.
Stocker isn’t going to be the next Antonio Gates, but he doesn’t have to be. He’s a big, reliable target, and contrary to popular belief, those are hard to come by. He still has the necessary speed and athleticism to make plays and help move the chains. He can easily develop into a red-zone threat, while his blocking only needs a little more consistency to take him to elite status. Teams like Buffalo, Miami, and St. Louis could show interest somewhere in the middle rounds.
NFL Comparison: Jason Witten "
Positive: Big tight end with a complete game. Solid receiver who extends his hands, offers the quarterback a nice target, and adjusts to the pass. Looks the ball into his hands and is reliable catching the ball. Breaks down well, bends his knees as a blocker, and works his hands throughout the action. Good initial strength at the point of attack.
Negative: More of an intermediate range target and does not possess the speed to break downfield. Struggles finishing blocks.
Analysis: Stocker showed consistent improvement the past three seasons, and although he E(TM)s not a spectacular tight end, he is effective as both a receiver and blocker. He possesses the tools to develop into a solid number two at the position."
Negatives: Not real fast... Struggles to create separation... Doesn't hit top speed quickly... Rounds off his routes... Lacks elusiveness in open field... Doesn't get thrown to enough... Not especially strong at POA... Marginal hand placement, hands tend to get too high... Allows his base to get too narrow... Will occasionally reach or lean on the edge versus good speed... Doesn't fire out, allows defenders to make first contact."
■Finished with 39 catches for 417 yards
■Had 2 receiving TDs
■Finished with 29 catches for 389 yards
■Second on team with five TDs
■One of five Vols with at least 20 catches
■Started season with two receptions against Western Kentucky, both for touchdowns
■One of two catches versus Auburn went for career-long 40 yards
■Set then-career highs with four receptions for 68 yards against Georgia
■Started stretch of four games with score against Memphis
■Three catches for 60 yards against Tigers
■Career-high five catches against Vanderbilt for 47 yards and TD
■Saved best game statistically for regular season finale, with five catches for 78 yards and touchdown against his home state school of Kentucky
■Emerged from crowded depth chart to lead tight end position with 13 catches for 139 yards
■Started all 12 games for Vols, including debut assignment against UCLA in Rose Bowl
■Career high three catches against Florida for 25 yards
■Also had 25-yard reception at Georgia
■Career high in yards (30) came against Alabama on two catches
■Included was 26-yard catch and run versus Crimson Tide
■At least one catch in season's first six games and in nine different games overall
■Appeared in all 14 games as part of Vols' deep tight-end playing rotation
■Single pass reception against Arkansas State, then followed that with catches in con-secutive games against Alabama, South Carolina and Louisiana-Lafayette
■First career touchdown came against Crimson Tide and longest pass play went for six yards against Louisiana-Lafayette
■2006 Class of the Commonwealth
■2005 All-State and two-time All-Conference
■Played in Kentucky-Tennessee All-Star Game
■As senior, caught 36 passes for 560 yards and five touchdowns
■Also made 48 tackles as defensive tackle, including 21 for lost yardage and 14 sacks
■Caught 38 passes for 328 yards and one TD as junior
■Added 17 tackles for loss
■Honor student and standout basketball player
■Averaged 17 points as junior forward, making All-District and All-Region
■Academic All-State in football and basketball
■Coach at Madison Southern High School - Doug Carter
Strengths: Excellent size for the TE position. Has the length and strength to be an effective in-line blocker. Gives good effort at the second level as a blocker and generally keeps his man from making a play on the ball carrier. Nice receiver who catches the ball well and is tough to bring down after the catch. Physical player who shares a lot of qualities with Jason Witten. Hard-worker who does his job every play. Plays like a big receiver with the mindset of an offensive lineman.
Weaknesses: Average speed and struggles to get open in man coverage. Has to rely on finding open areas in a zone coverage. Needs to improve his blocking technique and his hand use. Doesn't always initiate first contact as a blocker and gets too upright, preparing to absorb the block rather than deliver the first blow. Wasn't the red zone threat he should have been in college. Only found the endzone 2x as a senior.
Projection: One of the better tight end prospects in a draft that is a bit thin at the position. Should be one of the first 2-3 players taken at the position in the 2011 NFL Draft."
Luke Stocker is an awfully good Run Blocker and a decent Pass Blocker with upside in both areas. He's a natural Croucher, very Fluid, and has excellent Range to the Perimeter and beyond.
As a Receiver, he's not explosive, but demonstrates excellent Navigational skills, great Instincts, good Hands, and Tenacity. He Moves The Chains.
He could develop into a very good classic Tight End. But with the Game evolving as I anticipate it to, I believe his greatest impact, considering his intriguing combination of superior Blocking skills and excellent Receiving talents, would be as a Super Hybrid ~ Lining up all over the Line ~ Wing Back.
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