Gilbert’s Prospect Spotlight: Malik Hooker

Gilbert’s Prospect Spotlight: Malik Hooker

The Prospect Spotlight focuses on draft eligible players for the 2017 NFL draft. It shines the light on a prospect’s background,  gives an in-depth analysis on their strengths and summarizes their stats. Fans can read and digest the Prospect Spotlight to become more familiar with some of their favorite prospects.

The first player in the Prospect Spotlight to be featured will be Malik Hooker.


Malik Hooker

Class: Redshirt sophomore                                                                 Position: Safety

Overview

Malik Hooker has decided to enter the draft after having a break out season in his first year as a starter at Ohio State. Hooker played a significant role in the Buckeyes’ sixth ranked passing defense. The instinctive and intelligent cover safety made countless plays in the secondary that forced the fourth most interceptions in the country with 19 total during the regular season. He was named First Team All-American and First Team All-Big Ten. As great of a season as he had, he did not win any college football awards but he was a Thorpe Award semifinalist.

Analysis

Hooker thrives purely on his instincts and football wits. He demonstrates the ability to read his keys pre-snap and sniff out plays before they happen. While in coverage he sticks his foot on the ground and drives on the ball with a 0-to-60 read and reaction.He has A-1 ball skills and an uncanny ability to locate the ball like a receiver.  The ball hawk also possesses fluid hips and a back pedal which show when he flows from one side of the field to the other when in coverage.

2016-2017 Stats

Hooker recorded 11 pass deflections, 74 combined tackles (5.5 for a loss) and his seven interceptions accounted for 37% of the Buckeyes’ defensive total (19).  One of those interceptions came in prime time during the playoffs against top quarterback prospect Deshaun Watson (Clemson). His 181 return yards after an interception is third in the nation and his three returned touchdowns ranks first.

Pass deflections- 11

Interceptions- 7

Combined tackles- 74

Return yards-181

Return touchdowns- 3

 

Author Profile

Hillary Gilbert
Hillary Gilbert
Lead Draft Analyst
Bowling Green State University '18
Aspiring to work in an NFL Front Office (Player Personnel)

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