NFL Draft Scouting Report: Malik Hooker

Ohio State University
Safety #24
Redshirt Sophomore 6’2” 205

  • Ball-hawking safety with elite range
  • Top level ball skills
  • Great awareness to read the eyes of the quarterback
  • Fluid in his backpedal with the ability to change direction
  • Lowers his head at times which leads to missed tackles
  • Relatively inexperienced with one season as a starter

 

Malik Hooker was rated a 4-star recruit coming out of New Castle High School in Pennsylvania despite only playing football for two years. He was redshirted by Ohio State in his freshman eligible year in 2014. As a redshirt freshman in 2015, Hooker played in all 13 games but was mainly a special teams player, playing sparingly on defense.

Hooker became a starter in his sophomore season and in his first game of the season, promptly intercepted two passes that included an incredible, acrobatic play in a blowout victory against Bowling Green. That momentum continued throughout his sophomore season as Hooker finished with seven interceptions including three that were returned for touchdowns. He was voted a Jim Thorpe Award semifinalist which goes to the Nation’s top defensive back. Despite many rumors that he was going to return to campus, Hooker decided to enter the 2017 NFL draft as an early entrant.

Hooker excels in coverage and is a true centerfield type safety. His range and closing speed are incredible and he has been compared to NFL legend Ed Reed by many in the industry:

 

Hooker also has top notch ball skills as evidenced by his seven interceptions this season. He is a top level athlete and routinely has made incredible plays on the ball:

 

 

Hooker is one of the best prospects in this class and one of the better safety prospects in recent memory. His combination of athleticism and play-making ability is very rare. He possesses the size to cover a tight end one on one and the speed to keep even the fastest wide receivers from getting deep. His tackling is a work in progress but is definitely something that will be improved once he gets into an NFL training camp. All of these attributes will have Hooker hear his name called in the early stages of the 2017 NFL Draft.

NFL Comparison: Ed Reed

Round Value: 1st round




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