Ty’Ron Hopper’s Draft Profile | Missouri, LB Scouting Report

Missouri linebacker Ty'Ron Hopper exploded onto the scene as a junior. Does his scouting report suggest he's one of the best LBs in the NFL Draft?

Ty’Ron Hopper flashed in a talent-rich Missouri defense in 2022. Where does Hopper’s scouting report read in a linebacker class lacking top-flight NFL Draft prospects?

Ty’Ron Hopper Draft Profile and Measurements

  • Height: 6’2″
  • Weight: 220
  • Position: Linebacker
  • School: Missouri
  • Current Year: Senior (Fifth Year)

After beginning his high school career as a safety, Hopper landed a role on the second level at Roswell High School in Roswell, GA. He showed enough in high school to garner a consensus four-star recruit rankings from the big three sites. He was also considered a top-100 recruit for 247Sports and Rivals while coming in at No. 211 on ESPN.

Those in SEC and ACC territory heavily recruited Hopper. But he eventually landed at the University of Florida. After redshirting his first season and playing sparingly in 2020, he exploded onto the scene for the Gators as a rotational linebacker in 2021. He accumulated 10 tackles for loss on the season and 2.5 sacks.

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However, a coaching change landed him in the transfer portal, where he followed his cousin, Tyrone, to Missouri. As a redshirt Junior in Columbia, he quickly emerged as the playmaker for the Tigers’ defense.

He finished the 2022 season with 59 solo tackles, 13.5 tackles for loss, and 2.5 sacks. Hopper was emerging as one of the NCAA’s best linebackers. However, he could not replicate that same production in 2023, as the linebacker missed games while battling an ankle injury.

Malik Nabers Scouting Report

Strengths

  • Innate playmaker around the line of scrimmage in the mold of David Long Jr.
  • Energetic pass rusher with a bit of natural bend on the edge
  • Can dart across a blocker’s face on blitzes and in pursuit
  • Natural tackler who finds unique ways to finish
  • Athleticism to turn and run with TEs and carry RBs out of the backfield in man
  • Instinctive pursuit artist who finds creases to save yards
  • Playmaking perspective in coverage but will have to learn a different role in zone coverage at the next level

Weaknesses

  • Undersized even by modern standards
  • Doesn’t show consistent footwork or fluidity to survive in coverage as a slot defender
  • Smooth athlete but not overly explosive
  • Overall tackling consistency leaves a bit to be desired
  • Take-on skills lack

Current Draft Projection and Summary

Hopper is athletically in the mold of a modern linebacker and has the innate playmaking ability to be a difference-maker in the middle of a defense.

However, the fifth-year linebacker will need to land on a defense with a specific role for him. If asked to play patiently in a primarily two-gapping scheme, he’ll be washed away like the world’s beaches.

But if he’s given the green light to play downhill instinctively, he can be a dominant run defender at the next level.

Will his frame allow him to survive amongst the giants on the offensive interior? We’re seeing more and more pseudo-linebackers coming down from the safety position at weights lighter than Hopper with success.

Hopper will need to really hone in on his footwork and eyes in coverage if he wants to see the field early in his NFL career. His frenetic nature and playmaking prowess could make him a weapon on special teams immediately, but it could take him time to wiggle his way into a starting role at the NFL level.

Hopper likely lands on Day 3 because of the questions surrounding his coverage chops and slight frame, but his innate ability to find the football makes him an intriguing option.

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