Photo of Malik Hooker
Drafted By: Colts
  • Round 1
  • Pick 15
  • Overall 15

Combine Results

Grade
6.7 ?

Draft Analysis:

"He'll fit in with Indianapolis beautifully. He's the best center fielder in this draft so far. ... The biggest concern is not the injuries, but the inconsistent tackling." -- Mike Mayock

  • 6'1" Height
  • 32 1/4" Arm Length
  • 206LBS. Weight
  • 10 3/4" Hands

Overview

Coming out of high school, Hooker could have played Division I basketball. He led New Castle (Penn.) High to a state title as a senior in addition to being an all-state pick as a defensive back (in only his second year of football). Hooker made the right call coming to Ohio State to play safety. He redshirted in 2013 and played as a reserve in 2015 (10 tackles) due to the team's depth at the position. He took advantage of his ascension up the depth chart as a redshirt sophomore in 2016, receiving first-team All-American and All-Big Ten accolades after making 74 tackles (5.5 for loss), intercepting seven passes (tied for second nationally), and breaking up four others.

Analysis

Strengths

Outstanding instincts help him work ahead of the play despite average speed. Always probing quarterback's eyes for clues. Quick to process and is decisive in action. Flows hard to where his instincts lead him. Has fluid movement of a basketball player in space. Leans and bends into his turns for greater body control. Always active and in constant on-field search for optimal positioning. Hyper-aware of incoming targets to his area. Just as comfortable from "robber" spot as high safety. Mirrors quarterback’s eyes to challenge the passing lane. Very rarely takes a false step. Has loose hips for sudden stop-start to cover in space. Great ball skills. Earned most of his seven interceptions in 2016. Can range over the top to challenge the deep ball. Chooses path to the football over path to the man. Strong hands at the catch point lead to takeaways. Can disguise coverage and hustle back into position. Will strike receivers with some force to jar throws loose.

Weaknesses

Just one year of experience. Raw and still learning nuances of the position. More instinctive against the pass than run. At times can be a step slow to trigger downhill to take on the run. Will take some questionable downhill angles to the ball. Not overly physical against the run. Will duck head and go way low as a tackler. Below-average finisher. Comes in hot rather than coming to balance as a striker. Arm-tackler who needs to tighten up his mechanics. Missed 17 tackles this season. Balance issues show up on tape. Still growing into his leggy frame. Will get caught guessing rather than reading. Squats on tight ends and slot receivers from man and gets grabby at the top of the route.

Draft Projection

Round 1

Sources Tell Us

"Hook(er) is still so raw and you see him making all of those plays. He's a player who will come in and look bad his first year and then be an all-pro by his third year. I think that's his arc. No short-cut for experience." -- Personnel director for AFC team

NFL Comparison

Reggie Nelson

Bottom Line

He's the ultimate lurker. His instincts are always bringing him to the football and when he gets there he has the ball skills to take it away. His lack of game experience and issues with tackle consistency will likely show themselves early in his career, but his ability to flip the field is worthy of an aggressive projection. He has the talent to be a high-impact starter for years in the NFL.
-Lance Zierlein
C
Grade Title
9.00-10 Once-in-lifetime player
8.00-9.00 Perennial All-Pro
7.50-7.99 Future All-Pro
7.00-7.49 Pro Bowl to All-Pro Ability
6.50-6.99 Good NFL Starter with Pro Bowl Potential
6.00-6.49 Chance to become good NFL starter
5.70-5.99 Could become early NFL starter
5.30-5.69 Backup or eventual starter
5.15-5.29 Developmental prospect or special teams potential
5.01-5.14 Back end of the roster
5.00 50/50 Chance of making the roster

Comments