Packers' Ty'Ron Hopper Earns High Praise from College Coach

Ty'Ron Hopper, the Green Bay Packers' third-round draft pick, is expected to make a significant impact in the NFL due to his size, speed, and versatility. Hopper's former coach at the University of Missouri praises his pass-rushing skills and believes he can be a three-down linebacker in the NFL.

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Packers' Ty'Ron Hopper Earns High Praise from College Coach

Packers' Ty'Ron Hopper Earns High Praise from College Coach

Green Bay Packers' third-round draft pick Ty'Ron Hopper is set to make a significant impact in the NFL, according to his former linebackers coach at the University of Missouri, D.J. Smith. Smith. Hopper, who stands at an impressive 6-foot-2 and weighs over 230 pounds, possesses the ideal combination of size, speed, and versatility to excel at the professional level.

Smith, who also serves co-defensive coordinator for the Tigers, describes Hopper as "the prototypical 6-2-and-some-change, 230-plus pounds" player who can run a blistering 4.5-second 40-yard dash. This rare blend of physical attributes allows Hopper to be a"four-down player"capable of making an impact in various aspects of the game.

During his time at Missouri, Hopper showcased his versatility and playmaking abilities. In the 2022 season, he recorded 78 tackles, 14 tackles for losses, 2.5 sacks, one forced fumble, one interception, and five passes defensed in 13 games. His performance earned him second-team all-SEC honors, highlighting his impact on the field.

Smith is particularly impressed by Hopper's pass-rushing skills, believing he is the "best one-on-one pass rusher in the draft." Hopper's ability to rush the passer from the edge or as an off-the-ball linebacker makes him a valuable asset for any defense. In 2022, Pro Football Focus ranked Hopper sixth in the nation among all off-the-ball linebackers with 32 pressures, showcasing his disruptive presence in the backfield.

Hopper's growth and development at Missouri can be attributed to his dedication to physical improvement. Smith notes that Hopper went from tipping the scales at 220 pounds to a robust 238 pounds without sacrificing any of his speed or athleticism. This transformation allowed Hopper to become a more dominant force on the field, as evidenced by his impressive statistics in the 2023 season, where he recorded three sacks, six tackles for losses, 55 tackles, and three pass deflections in just 10 games.

While Hopper did have a high missed-tackle rate in 2023, Smith believes this is an area where he can improve with more repetitions and a better understanding of angles at the professional level. Smith's confidence in Hopper's ability to adapt and refine his technique speaks volumes about the linebacker's potential for growth in the NFL.

As Hopper embarks on his NFL career with the Green Bay Packers, fans and coaches alike will be eager to see how he translates his collegiate success to the professional ranks. With his pass-rushing prowess and coverage skills, Hopper has the potential to be a true three-down linebacker in the NFL. If Smith's assessment is any indication, Hopper is set to become a standout player and a valuable asset for the Packers' defense in the years to come.

Key Takeaways

  • Ty'Ron Hopper's size, speed, and versatility make him an ideal NFL linebacker.
  • Hopper recorded 78 tackles, 14 TFL, 2.5 sacks, and 5 passes defensed in 13 games at Missouri.
  • He's a "four-down player" who can make an impact in various aspects of the game.
  • Hopper's pass-rushing skills are highly praised, with 32 pressures in 2022.
  • He has the potential to be a true three-down linebacker in the NFL with refinement.