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Scouting The 2017 NFL Draft: Malik Hooker, S, Ohio State

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Malik had himself one hell of a year in 2016, however with so little experience, is he worth taking at 6 overall?

Indiana v Ohio State Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images

Introduction

Hometown: New Castle, Pennsylvania

High School: New Castle, PA

Recruitment: 3 Star

Awards

2016 First Team All-American

2016 First Team All Big Ten

Measurables

Height: 6'2"

Weight: 205

Class: Sophomore

Projected 40 Time: 4.56

Stats

2016 - 74 tackles, 5.5 for a loss, 0.5 sacks, 7 interceptions, 4 passes defended

2015 - 10 tackles

Positives

  • Ball hawk who has exceptional hands
  • Excellent instincts and anticipation.
  • Reads the QB while sticking with his man.
  • Fluid athlete in space.
  • Excellent coverage ability.
  • Plays a good deep center field role.
  • Rarely fooled with mis-direction and play-action.
  • Takes good routes to the football.
  • Uses his body well in coverage.
  • High IQ with good understanding of angles.
  • Always plays the ball, even after completion.

Negatives

  • Speed is very average.
  • Only has one year of starting experience.
  • Doesn't play the run all that well.
  • Doesn't play with a good base.
  • Has 17 missed tackles in 2016, shaky arm tackler
  • Angles in coverage are good, angles playing the run are bad
  • May get caught holding a lot in the NFL.
  • Not as physical as you'd want when covering tight ends.

Conclusion

I do like Hooker, but unlike Jamal Adams from LSU, I think he'll have a learning curve his first year or two in the NFL. Don't forget he came late to football and for much of his life basketball was his passion. He has excellent athletic ability and incredibly hands, he's a playmaker plain and simple. However he's still extremely raw and he'll make his mistakes. He's a good center fielder, but because of his problems tackling...he's not a reliable center fielder right now. I think he has the potential to be one of the best safeties in the league, but he'll need to grow into it and it likely won't happen in 2017.

Draft Round Prediction: Round 1