He played in the Super Bowl as a rookie.
Drafted in the third round in 2016, the Stanford University grad spent most of the season as the third tight end on the depth chart, though he appeared in all 16 games both his rookie and second season. But as the Atlanta Falcons trudged through the postseason, injuries to his teammates gave Hooper a chance to get some solid playoff experience. He even caught three passes and a touchdown in the Falcons' infamous loss to the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LI.
One of his best career games came against the Browns.
Hooper should be plenty comfortable in FirstEnergy Stadium after having the best game of his career in Cleveland in 2018. The tight end caught a career-high 10 receptions for 56 yards and a touchdown. The game might have even planted a Cleveland seed in Hooper's mind, as quarterback Baker Mayfield completed an impressive 17 of 20 passes for three touchdowns in a 28-16 Browns win.
Mayfield and Hooper quarantined together during the offseason.
Nothing builds a lifelong bond like a sleepover! Hooper told the New York Post that he spent "two or three weeks" living with Mayfield and his wife, Emily, during the offseason in an effort to build chemistry. The duo got to know each other and notched "a few hundred reps" during Hooper's time in Texas. "Emily got a little sick of him at one point," says Mayfield.
Hooper has been impressive this offseason.
Not only does Coach Stefanski love to lean on tight ends, but Mayfield has a history of targeting them in the passing game that stretches back to college. This preseason has been no different. From highlights pouring out of the team's social media accounts to reports from local media swooning over his leaping catches, Hooper is constantly in the conversation as one of the team's preseason standouts.
He doesn't mind competing against a deep pool of tight ends.
While tight end David Njoku has requested a trade, the Browns still appear deep at the position thanks to breakout rookie tight end Harrison Bryant, who appears to be the Browns' No. 2 on the depth chart. "I just kind of like to lead by example," he told Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com. "If people have questions, I will answer them. I am an open book. I don't try to hoard information. I don't like doing the whole [former Dallas Cowboys tight end] Jason Witten deal where it is me versus everyone else in the tight end room. ... We are all in this together."
8:00 AM EST
September 9, 2020