The Denver Broncos brought in 16 College Free Agents after the NFL Draft this past week, including a Cornerback out of UCLA by the name of Aaron Hester. If that last name sounds familiar, that’s because Aaron is Chicago Bears receiver Devin Hester’s cousin.
NFL Draft Scout has the 6’-1”, 207 lb. 23-year old ranked 38th out of 218 Cornerbacks across the nation and the 309th overall prospect in 2013. He was expected to go as high as the late 6th round.
Hester was invited to the Combine and participated in every event except the Bench Press, because of his shoulder. He improved on many of his numbers during UCLA’s Pro Day in March. Here are his measurables:
40 Yard Time – 4.47
20 Yard Split – 2.55
10 Yard Split – 1.60
Bench – No bench, shoulder
Vertical Jump – 32.5”
Broad Jump – 120”
20 Yard Shuttle – 4.33
3-Cone Drill – 6.92
Arm Length – 32.5”
Hand Length – 10 3/8”
Aaron starred in both track and football at Dominguez High School, which is located in Compton, Calif. He was a 3-time all-state track performer, and a four star recruit in football. Hester was a team captain in his senior season and was a two-way player as a corner wide out.
Hester’s career as a Bruin did not get going until his second year on campus (2009), and he only played in two games due to a fractured right fibula. In 2010, Aaron started 11 of 12 games and made 26 Tackles, three Interceptions and four Pass Breakups. He started 12 of 14 games the next season, recording 57 Tackles, one Interception and seven Pass Breakups. In 2012, as a 5th year senior, Hester started all 14 games, with 44 Tackles, one Interception, and seven Passes Defensed.
A 4-year Letterman for the Bruins, Aaron had 38 starts in 43 games during his time in Westwood. He amassed 114 total Tackles, including 6 For a Loss, 18 Pass Breakups, 5 Interceptions, one Forced Fumble and one Recovery. Aaron ranked 4th on the team in Tackles in 2011 and led the Bruins with three Interceptions during the 2010 campaign. He won the starting job opposite All-American Alterraun Verner in 2009 during spring practice.
STRENGTHS: Aaron has a great frame and possesses good size and speed for the Cornerback position. He has long arms and appears to run well. Hester possesses fluid hips and changes direction smoothly. He also showcases enough lateral agility to stick with receivers. Feels the receiver’s route develop. He is an aggressive run defender, attacks downhill and wraps up.
WEAKNESSES: Doesn’t have great ball skills and will struggle to get his head turned. Lacks great acceleration moving forward, doesn’t stop his feet and drive on the football as well as you’d like. Needs to refine his technique. Has trouble disengaging from receiver blocks. Shows some difficulties in zone coverage.
NFL COMPARISON: Chris Culliver (49ers)
BOTTOM LINE: Hester has a great frame and is more fluid than most would think. He’s a good all-around athlete and works well in man coverage. He needs to do a better job of finding and making plays on the football, but he should still be selected in the middle rounds.
How he fits in Denver:
Aaron is a bit on the raw side technique-wise. He is a big Cornerback and may actually be better suited as a Safety due to his aggressiveness. He definitely has the size and speed to play in the NFL. If he shows enough to the Denver coaching staff, I project him as a Practice Squad candidate due to his potential and current depth at the position.
– Kaptain Kirk