Exploring the 6th Pick – Malik Hooker

Hooker

With the 6th pick the New York Jets select… That answer will be revealed on April 27th. For now, one potential option could be Ohio State safety Malik Hooker.

Hooker is billed as one of the two best safeties in the 2017 draft (the other LSU’s Jamal Adams) and has been pegged as an elite ball hawk. Some have gone so far as to say that he compares to Ed Reed, to which Hooker found those comparisons ‘shocking.’

BasketballStockImageAt the moment, Hooker is recovering from labrum and sports hernia surgeries. Is his durability a concern? Probably no more than any other player these days in football. What might be more concerning is that Hooker seriously considered walking away from the game after his freshman year at Ohio State to pursue basketball.  It is natural for anyone to have doubts in their life, especially when they are young. Hooker found ways to make football “fun.” The NFL is a different animal however and those same challenges will return, but may be harder. Will Hooker be the wiser for it?

Another concern of note would be: was last year a flash in the pan or what to expect from him? He is a one year starter, leaving after his sophomore season.

Notes: (Film watched: 2016 Clemson, Wisconsin, Michigan)

  • Excellent speed to the sideline from the hashmark to make a play on the ball. Tracks ball well through the air and adjusts with fluid motion. Excellent hands.
  • Can be caught guessing.  Some overpursuit on screens and outside runs.
  • Accelerates quickly downhill to blitz from the secondary and close on ball carrier. Will punish when using proper form.
  • Inconsistent tackler, will breakdown and catch the running back. Poor finish, too frequently arm tackles or uses soft shoulder.

ClocktimeHooker displays elite playmaking talent in the secondary, however his lack of technique could be a liability if he does not refine his craft. Could develop into a top player in time.

The Jets could certainly utilize Hooker in their secondary. He would replace Marcus Gilchrist at free safety and provide deep help for Morris Claiborne, as well as the young corners the Jets will rely on. Will Malik Hooker be the Jets selection at 6?.. We’ll find out soon enough.

 

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