Malik Hooker, Ohio State [FS] – Joel Bishop

Name: Malik Hooker

Position: Safety

School: Ohio State

Class: RS Sophomore

Height: 6’2″

Weight: 205 lbs

Games Watched: 2016 – Bowling Green, Oklahoma, Wisconsin, Clemson, Nebraska

 

Overview

A basketball player coming out of New Castle High School but played just two seasons of football there at wide receiver and cornerback (an all-state pick as a defensive back). Hooker was a Division I prospect as a basketball player before he played football in the 2012 season. At Ohio Sate Hooker red-shirted in 2014 but in 2015 he was a core special teamer playing in all 13 games for the Buckeyes totalling 179 plays and credited 10 tackles for the season. In 2016 he became the starting safety after Vonn Bell and Tyvis Powell were NFL-bound leading the Big Ten with seven interceptions. He received first team All-American and Big-Ten honours after making 74 tackles and 11 passes defended.

 

Strengths

A great athlete that can move across the field quickly due to very good play speed. Excellent vision of the field, very instinctive travelling to the ball to make plays. Impressive leaping ability and can high-point the ball. Elite ball skills with strong hands to snatch the ball in the air and finish. Reads the quarterback’s eyes giving him a head start, eliminates potential passing opportunities. Great body control, smoothness to flipping his hips. Excellent closing speed to the ball. High effort player against the run. Can play as a centre fielder, cover 2 safety and a robber. Experienced special teams player.

 

Weaknesses

Needs to play with more strength, could add more to a lanky frame. Overaggressive decision making following instincts can lead to incorrect guesses. Struggles against trick plays. Needs to be more physical against the run. Bad angles led to missed tackles (missed 17 in 2016). Lowers pads to strike with some placement issues – can be striking too low. Needs a little more work as a wrap-up tackler. Only a one year starter with little experience, basketball was his first love.

 

Bottom Line

One of the most instinctive players I’ve seen in a long time coming out of college. He knows where to be and has the ball skills to finish the play. More of a free safety using his strengths against the pass at NFL level. Inexperience will show and will need plenty of improvement as a run defender. Malik Hooker has the potential to be a nightmare for quarterbacks and be an elite safety for many years.

 

Grade: 1st round

5 thoughts on “Malik Hooker, Ohio State [FS] – Joel Bishop

  1. May I simply just say what a comfort to discover an individual who truly knows what they are discussing online. You actually understand how to bring an issue to light and make it important. More and more people should look at this and understand this side of the story. I can’t believe you are not more popular given that you certainly possess the gift.

Leave a Reply