STRENGTHS - Hester has outstanding size for a CB as he possesses the height, length and bulk normally reserved for the SAF position. He uses his length well in man coverage, as he is effective underneath from a trail position and can reach around his man to break up passes without taking penalties. He has the long speed needed to run with receivers down-field, and does a good job of using his body to pin his man to the boundary. When he plays with his weight properly over his feet he demonstrates the ability to flip his hips and stay with his man in transition.
WEAKNESSES - Hester is not a quick twitch athlete and lacks the explosiveness needed to break and close effectively on plays in front of him. He is not physical in press coverage, and consequently gives up too many free releases off the LOS and makes it easy for his man to create initial separation. His technique is very inconsistent and leads to mistakes, as he tends to get too far back on his heels during his pedal, and also will at times open too early or the wrong way. He is ineffective against the run because he tends to wait for blockers to get on top of him and isn't physical, which allows his man to often seal him out and sustain the block.
SUMMARY - Aaron Hester has prototype size and athleticism for the NFL level, but his inconsistent technique in coverage and ineffectiveness defending the run will prevent him from being considered an elite prospect. He has the speed and fluidity needed to stay with receivers all over the field, but too often gets upright in his pedal and loses a step in transition. He isn't physical at the LOS and at times isn't patient enough with his pedal, causing him to open the wrong way and leave himself susceptible to double moves. While he clearly has the size and natural strength to be an effective run defender, he is too passive at the POA and does not work to shed blocks in time to get involved. Many of his errors appear to be very coachable, but the fact that he was a 5th year senior and not an underclassman making mental errors is concerning. While his college production and inconsistency makes him a better value on day three, don't be surprised if a team like Seattle is willing to gamble a bit earlier on his size and athleticism.