by Christian Mott
Undrafted: a word that no player wants to hear at the end of the draft. Not being one of the 259 names called out can spell doom and gloom for players. However, there are always a handful of undrafted players who end up defying the odds and making an impact in the league. Now more than ever is that the case as last year a record 486 undrafted players were on the 53 man roster around the league. With that being said, it’s the best time ever to make it in this circumstance. Tristen Hoge will try to become the next great underdog story in the league. The jury is still out on whether Tristen Hoge will defy the odds and succeed in the NFL.
Tristen Hoge – OL
Drafted: NA | New York Jets
Hoge was overlooked within a loaded BYU offense last year. With fellow teammate Brady Christensen playing the left side, Hoge locked down the right side. Recruited out of high school to play center, Hoge played a majority of his college career at guard. However, it was far-from-smooth sailing as an injury-riddled career made his draft stock plummet. The big red flag is a leg injury that has sidelined him multiple times. However, a COVID-19 and pneumonia-riddled senior year did not ruin his shot at the big leagues. Joe Douglas and the Jets decided to snag him up as a free agent to compete for a roster spot. The 6’5” 310 pound player is listed as a tackle on the Jets’ website.
“One thing is very apparent when looking at this kid is that he looks like an NFL guy,” sports analyst, Nick Chandler, said.
When watching the film, there was one thing that both of us noticed quickly.
“The way he shoots his hands out, my goodness, more people to talk about it,” said Nick. “I think he genuinely may have the best punch in the whole draft class.”
Another thing Nick noticed may be the secret to why he didn’t end up getting drafted.
“His punch is incredible but he doesn’t move well at for a leaner offensive linemen,” said Nick. “When I look at him it’s crazy for a dude to struggle so hard pushing dudes out of the gap when he wins his initial contact. I’ve never seen a guy with such good initiation struggle so hard to actually move the defender when he has the leverage on him. I’m not sure if he lost strength due to his injuries or he just isn’t that strong, but he has no chance in the league if he cant move dudes out of the way”.
After watching film, Nick gave his final verdict on Hohe.
“Look, a guy who has the experience and a punch like that always has a chance to make it,” he said. “I think for him it’ll come down to how much can be fixed with coaching or not. If you look at him I mean I think he has the skills to make it’s just like he will and that’ll be shown in time.”
So should we expect Tristen Hoge to make the Jets roster? I’m unsure. However, I do think he will be on a roster. Between his versatility and explosive first punch, there’s plenty to like. Don’t expect him to see any day one playing time if he makes a roster as he will need at least a year or two to refine his skills. It won’t be easy and his chances to fail are as big as anyone. At the end of the day the unlikely ones are the hungriest.
Featured image via Mark Brown/Getty Images