While his 5-foot-8 stature may scare teams off, the small defensive back still put up big-time production as a Horned Frog and that can’t be denied or simply brushed aside since he’s “vertically challenged” as some reports say.
And for a team like the Las Vegas Raiders that seeks to add more explosiveness to its roster, Hodges-Tomlinson brings that in spades. And the Silver & Black showed it isn’t shy deploying or bringing in shorter cornerbacks, so it’d be surprising if Hodges-Tomlinson was off the Raiders radar.
The diminutive cornerback has the speed, aggressive nature, leaping ability, and quick reaction to make his mark felt in any secondary both as a cover man and in run support — especially a Raiders one that needs a jolt.
Tale of the Tape: Tre’Vius Hodges-Tomlinson
- School: TCU
- Position: Cornerback
- Height: 5-foot-8
- Weight: 177 pounds
- 2022 Stats: 50 total tackles (40 solo), 2 tackles for loss, 3 interceptions, 15 passes defensed, 1 forced fumble
- Career Stats: 125 total tackles (93 solo), 4 tackles for loss, 5 interceptions, 36 passes defensed, 3 forced fumble
His 2022 season with TCU highlighted just how capable and steady Hodges-Tomlinson can be. He’s always looking for the ball and his suddenness in terms of decision-making and acceleration make him quite the nuisance in the secondary — as evidenced by his 15 pass deflections this past season. For his career, Hodges-Tomlinson has 36 deflections to go along with five interceptions, three of which arrived this past year.
One can assume, base don Hodges-Tomlinson size alone, he’d be prone to getting bullied by opposing receivers. But that’s a faulty assumption. He is as physical as a corner you’d expect from bigger prospects and he can shadow and smother short and intermediate routes well.
And don’t pigeon hole this cornerback to nickel/slot duties. His best work arrives from covering the boundary and perimeter. While he’ll be pegged as an inside corner by some teams, that’s the same mistake the Chicago Bears made with Duke Shelley — who is now a Raider. And Shelley is one of the best pro comparisons you can have for Hodges-Tomlinson.
Both are ultra aggressive and competitive in coverage and see catches made on them as insulting. And Shelley showed this past season with the Minnesota Vikings his lack of size doesn’t matter a lick as he’s stingy in coverage. Hodges-Tomlinson is of the same ilk.
Sure, there are areas of refinement that Hodges-Tomlinson will need to make at the next level. Especially maintaining the physicality and aggressiveness he displayed in college against much bigger and faster pro competition. It’s also that same tenacity that can result in penalties, so he’ll need to find balance. And Hodges-Tomlinson also needs to become more of a refined wrap up tackler and not just throw his body at ballcarriers looking to wallop them — which results in missed tackles.
But there’s a solid foundation already there in the TCU corner. And Las Vegas is in dire need of defensive backs that have alpha mentalities.
Hodges-Tomlinson’s NFL bloodlines also run deep as his uncle is none other than San Diego Chargers legend LaDainian Tomlinson. Wouldn’t it be something if a Tomlinson wore Silver & Black?
Just like his uncle, Hodges-Tomlinson leaves an indelible mark at TCU. Despite being short, the cornerback earned the Jim Thorpe Award — given to the nation’s best defensive back. It’s an honor that former TCU product and current Raider Tre’Von Moehrig earned back in 2020.
Projection-wise, Hodges-Tomlinson is seen as high as a third-round prospect with fourth- and fifth-round considerations being the consensus, again, due to his size (or lack thereof). Las Vegas has two third-round picks (70th and 100th overall), along with a fourth (109th), and a trio of fifths (141st, 144th and 174th). So if Hodges-Tomlinson remains on the board in the latter rounds, he fits the bill of an “explosive” player the Raiders are seeking.