Draft Profile: Malik Hooker, S Ohio St

By: Steve Johnson

Malik Hooker, S Ohio St.

6’1″ 206, 32 1/4″ arms, 10 3/4″ hands

* Did not participate in Combine due to injury

Stats/Accolades/History:

2015: 6 games. 10 tackles

2016: 13 games. 74 tackles (5.5 for loss), 1 sack, 4 pass breakups, 7 interceptions, returned for 181 yards (28.3), and 3 TDs.

Accolades: 2016 first team All-American, 2016 First Team All-Big Ten.

Injuries: Missed combine due to surgery on a Hernia injury and Torn Labrum.

History: Led New Castle (Penn.) to a state championship in basketball (could’ve played Division I). Was also an all-state defensive back (in 2nd year of playing football).

Strengths: Tremendous range (see GIF below from National Championship game). Great footwork and very loose fluid hip mover (due to basketball history). Has the ability to play some corner, especially nickel in today’s NFL. Quick to read and react as a center fielder, but not afraid to mix it up in the box as well. Hooker can really play anywhere in the secondary and be able to make plays. Gives his all and plays the game with passion (see the block he made against Notre Dame on a teammate Int return). His instincts always seem to bring him to the ball. Usually when you see someone with so many interceptions, they’re in the right place at the right time, Hooker put himself there every time.

GIF
GIF

Video Cred: draftbreakdown.com

Weaknesses: Very raw. Only a 1 year starter, was redshirted in 2014 and a reserve in 2015. Also, only played 2 years of football prior to coming to Ohio St.  His aggressiveness is sometimes his downfall as he misses tackles and uses poor tackling form. Injury might have him start on the PUP to begin the season. Can be reckless at times pursing ball carriers.

Overview: Exceptionally fluid safety with elite range/ball skills. Current injurt concern and 1 year starting experience would be a huge risk for a top 10 team, but it could absolutely pay off as he’s got the talent of an Earl Thomas/Eric Berry.

Draft Projection: Top 15 Pick

Phanaddict Draft Grade: 7.3