Mike Hoomanawanui is a blocking Tight End. Is he really the next Manumaleuna? Well, he may have impressed scouts with his receiving ability but the fact remains if you can't get open, you can't be a receiving threat. To be fair, he did have a 5 catch game in 2008.
I don't know how much of a concern durability realistically is, but he missed 4 of 12 games last year due to an ankle injury.
Respectable 4.8 in the 40-yard dash. He put up 25 reps in the bench press at the combine, not far off the best TE performance of 30.
Little known trivia: Mike was born on the 4th of July, in the same city as yours truly (Honolulu, Hawaii), and was all conference in high school for TE and DE.
More scouting observations on Hoomanawanui below.
Positional Rank: 13
Tight End Specific Traits
(1 = Exceptional, 2 = Above average, 3 = Average, 4 = Below average, 5 = Marginal)
Separation Skills: 2 Rounds too many routes off when we study him on film. Also appeared stiff when asked to make crisp cuts during individual drills at the Senor Bowl. Doesn't explode out of cuts or tempo routes very well. Inconsistent in this area but can find and settle into pockets in zone coverage. Active hands. Can slip linebackers at the line of scrimmage and doesn't get pushed around downfield.
Receiving Skills: 3 Big hands and can snatch the ball out of the air. Can absorb contact and hold onto the ball. Not a great leaper but can compete for jump balls because of height and long arms.
Ball Skills: 3 One-speed receiver who doesn't show a second gear when tracking the ball but fast enough to make the occasional play down the seam. Not elusive and lacks breakaway speed but a powerful open field runner with good balance.
Competitiveness/Toughness: 2 Plays with an edge and a relentless blocker. Not afraid to work the middle of the field and expose body to big hits. Can drag defenders for extra yards after the catch.
Blocking: 3 Plays with a narrow base and can slip off block. While strong enough to lock out defenders doesn't deliver a violent initial punch or roll hips into blocks so doesn't generate great initial surge. Athletic enough to develop into an effective zone blocker but at this point shows sub-par footwork and instincts when zone blocking. On the other hand, effort masks most weaknesses. Gets adequate hand placement and drives legs once in position. Not a great athlete but shows good body control in space and can adjust to moving targets. In fact, Illinois would line him up in the slot and use him as a lead blocker on screens. Bit of a waist bender in pass protection but absorbs initial surge and digs in against bull rushers. Uses long arms to ride speed rushers past the pocket.
NFL.com's take: Grade 4.3
Hoomanawanui has some physical skills but has struggled to show it on the field. He came to Illinois with a lot of expectations but suffered some sort of injury virtually every season. He has good size and flashes the ability to smother opponents when blocking on the edge but does not unload with much pop or punch and often lets opponents escape with minimal resistance. He tends to round off his cuts and does not show much of a burst out of his breaks and struggles to separate from good man coverage. He shows good hand-eye coordination and has a wide receiving radius.
Strengths: Possesses great height and a thick, muscular build. Shows the ability to engulf defenders when blocking in the running game. Has big, strong hands and catches the ball away from his body with ease. Very agile for his size and can find soft spots in zone coverage.
Weaknesses: Does not have the speed to stretch the middle of the field. A bit stiff in the hips and loses momentum in and out of his breaks, which limits his ability to separate in man coverage. Rounds off routes too often and struggles to set up defenders with fakes. Had a litany of injuries in college. .
Sporting News take: Grade 3.9
Position rank: 22 (actually drafted: 12)
Has a thick, wide frame with long arms. Is an above-average position blocker and a competent outlet and underneath receiver. He uses his size well to shield defenders and catch the ball.
Weaknesses: Hoomanawanui is a marginal athlete who has limited speed and quickness to separate from man-to-man coverage. For a large man, he lacks brute strength as a blocker at the point of attack. Struggles to maintain his technique and sustain blocks. Struggles to change direction and neutralize pass rushersï¿½ secondary moves. Is an indecisive runner after the catch. Shows slow footwork and flexibility as a run blocker at the point of attack.
Bottom line: Hoomanawanui began his college career at defensive end. He is a thick man with limited athletic upside. He could make an NFL team as a No. 3 tight end and blocker on special teams. There's little chance of becoming more than that.