The Buckeyes’ standout safety Malik Hooker was the second Buckeye to be drafted. Hooker was selected by the Indianapolis Colts with the 15th overall pick.
Ohio State’s defense this past season was an interesting development. The depth chart contained a few names that most people recognized, but there were also plenty of new faces.
That changed pretty quickly for one ‘new’ face. Malik Hooker emerged immediately against Bowling Green where he recorded two interceptions. After that first breakout game, he never looked back.
According to sports-reference.com, Hooker totaled seven interceptions and three touchdowns in his lone season as a starter. According to ESPN.com, those seven interceptions landed him in second place in total picks.
The Colts have had their struggles on defense. Per ESPN, the Colts haven’t been better than 20th overall since 2009 and they’ve only gotten worse. Per the same website, the Colts’ defense ranked 30th in total defense and 27th in passing defense last season.
Look no further than Hooker when it comes to being a solid all-around defender and an explosive play-maker. There are many players who can play good defense but far less who can catch and handle the ball. Hooker can do both.
He uses his vision and speed to track the ball while implementing his athleticism to make a play on it in the air. Those skills were evident in his three interception returns for touchdowns.
Hooker is a great fit for the Colts as they could definitely use a play-maker in their secondary to jump start a sluggish unit. The presence of veteran defensive back Vontae Davis will only further Hooker’s development into a polished pro.
One issue that could plague Hooker as a professional is injury. Hooker has been a bit injury prone which could mean trouble in the NFL. If he can get past that, Hooker should be a valuable asset to the Colts and day one contributor.