After being passed over in last week’s NFL draft, BYU wide receiver Cody Hoffman is attempting to win a spot on the Redskins’ roster the hard way -- as college free agent.
“I’m here to prove my talents and show a lot of teams what they missed out on in the draft,” Hoffman said after Saturday’s rookie minicamp practice at Redskins Park. “Everybody I talked to said I’d go anywhere from the fifth through seventh [round]. And it fell through. But I have to use that motivation to bounce back and be better.”
Hoffman had an impressive career with the Cougars, reeling in 260 passes for 3,612 yards, 33 touchdowns and 18 100 yard games—all BYU records. But those credentials couldn’t offset some rather ordinary numbers at the scouting combine, such as his 4.62 second 40-yard dash. As a result, he didn’t hear his name called on draft weekend.
“It motivates me to work harder,” he said. “I guess they didn’t think I worked hard enough at the last level, so I have to step it up. I think my [college stats] shouldn’t be overlooked. The yards speak for themselves. But at the same time, I guess it wasn’t enough. So I have to work harder.”
Two days into rookie camp, Redskins Coach Jay Gruden has taken notice of Hoffman’s size and pass catching ability.
“He’s a good sized kid,” Gruden said. “And that’s one thing [about] our receiving corps, you’d like to have a couple of guys who are 6-2, 6-3. He’s 6-3 ½. He’s a very smooth route runner with great natural hands and can pluck it. He doesn’t have the great vertical speed that you’d love to [have from] a guy that’s 6-3 ½ [and] runs a 4.3 [second] 40. He’s 6 foot 3, but he doesn’t run a 4.3. He’s got good natural hands and he’ll come to training camp and compete with the rest of the guys.”
The Redskins top three wide receivers are set—DeSean Jackson, Pierre Garçon and Andre Roberts. After that, there’s a large contingent competing for the other three spots.
Gruden said Hoffman’s ability to contribute on special teams will greatly impact whether he makes the final cut.
“Special teams will be important to him as far as making the roster,” Gruden said. “We’ll see how he does in that area of the game.”
But before Hoffman can begin to focus on winning a job on the 53, he first needs to get acclimated to life in the pros.
“It was definitely what I expected,” he said. “It was a grind. Learning all the plays, spending the time in the meeting room, coming out here practicing and then going to the meeting room again. It’s a grind. It’s a job.”
“But,” Hoffman added, “it’s also a dream.”