The eye test won’t be kind to TCU CB Tre’Vius Hodges-Tomlinson, but he couldn’t care less. The TCU CB has one of the most exhilarating scouting reports in the 2023 NFL Draft cycle. And in the right role, he could be a game-changer in the NFL, just as he was in college.
Tre’Vius Hodges-Tomlinson NFL Draft Profile
- Position: Cornerback
- School: TCU
- Current Year: Senior
- Height/Weight: 5’8″, 177 pounds
In his first season as a starter, Hodges-Tomlinson was one of college football’s leaders in pass deflections. He remained one of CFB’s best defenders the next year. And in his final collegiate season, he won the Thorpe Award — given to the best defensive back in college football.
Hodges-Tomlinson doesn’t look like what you’d expect from a Thorpe Award winner. He stands at 5’8″, 177 pounds. More often than not, he’s the smallest player on the field. But most of his opponents tend to forget that once he’s in their grill, attacking blocks in run support and prying at the ball in coverage.
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The nephew of Hall of Famer LaDainian Tomlinson, Hodges-Tomlinson has his uncle’s trademark athleticism. As a three-star recruit in the 2019 class, he tested with a 4.59 40-yard dash and a 39.3-inch vertical. But Hodges-Tomlinson also has something else that’ll help him forge his own legacy: Unbridled competitive toughness.
Hodges-Tomlinson’s amalgamation of traits allowed him to dominate at the CFB level in 2022, to the tune of three interceptions and 15 deflections. Now, with a Shrine Bowl showing and a full offseason on the horizon, he aims to make a new imprint in the NFL.
Tre’Vius Hodges-Tomlinson Scouting Report
- Quantifiably elite athlete with top-tier explosiveness, agility, and short-area twitch.
- Matches receivers upfield with energetic bursts and effortlessly lowers in stance.
- Has the high-end closing speed to undercut routes over the middle and at the boundary.
- Shows great processing ability and response to stimulus in zone coverage.
- Extremely adaptable in zone, with the football IQ to recognize overlapping routes.
- Experiences very little strain swiveling around vertically and can flip hips with ease.
- Very disciplined in press-man, with fast feet, wicked reaction quickness.
- With fast feet, fluid hips, and short-area freedom, has excellent recovery capacity.
- Extremely feisty competitor who plays larger than his size in both phases.
- Brings elite ball skills, stemming from coordination, timing, and ball-tracking ability.
Areas for Improvement
- Very undersized for the cornerback position, with a light frame and lacking length.
- Lighter frame can make him very easy to direct for larger run blockers.
- Can be outreached at the catch point by receivers with a larger catch radius.
- Lacking length at times limits his ability to delay and disrupt in press-man.
- Appears as a short-strider in space, which slightly limits range in recovery.
- Can be a bit too grabby out of releases, overcompensating for size mismatches.
- Sometimes tugs when receivers get a step on him, drawing penalty risk.
- At times, fails to get his head around tracking vertically, and interferes with the wideout.
TCU CB Tre’Vius Hodges-Tomlinson Current Draft Projection
Hodges-Tomlinson’s size will be a definite hindrance at the next level. But most, if not all, of his downsides, stem from that quality.
Aside from his size, Hodges-Tomlinson is one of the most well-rounded and exciting cornerback prospects in the 2023 NFL Draft. He grades out as a quality Day 2 prospect, who could be worth consideration in the top 75. If he falls due to his size, he’ll be a steal.
He’ll likely be confined to a slot role at the NFL level. Hodges-Tomlinson’s size can be a problem on the boundary, where he’s forced to turn and run with larger receivers. He frequently grabs to maintain leverage — a flaw that’ll be exploited in the NFL. And while he has good press technique, his lacking length hurts him there as well.
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But there’s a silver lining with Hodges-Tomlinson’s use of physicality. He’s an extremely feisty competitor for his size. He’s an elite athlete with a rare mix of explosiveness, foot quickness, short-area twitch, flexibility, and recovery speed. Hodges-Tomlinson is also a smart, tenacious defender with near-elite route recognition skills in zone and an excellent response to stimulus in press-man and off-man.
Simply put, Hodges-Tomlinson is a gnat in coverage. He’s not as big as most receivers, but he’s always buzzing around, right in your face, and doesn’t care how annoying he might be. With his sticky coverage ability, playmaking skills, and unyielding attitude in both phases, Hodges-Tomlinson can be a potentially elite slot defender, especially in zone and off-man alignments.