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Colts Draft Safety Malik Hooker With 15th Pick of the 2017 NFL Draft

INDIANAPOLIS – One thing was all but certain, with the 15th pick of the NFL Draft, the Indianapolis Colts were likely going to go with a defensive pick. That side of the ball has been lacking and holding this team back. New general manager Chris Ballard has spend most of his brief time here trying to rebuild that side of the ball.

That’s why it was a no-brainer. 

Then, factor in seven of the top 10 picks of tonight’s NFL Draft in Philadelphia being offensive stars, and several of the top defenders slipped down to their laps.

Again, no-brainer.

With that being said, the Colts selected safety Malik Hooker with their first round pick.

Hooker, played collegiately at Ohio State, but originally, he was a basketball player. Hooker, was the second all-time leading scorer in his high school’s history and dreamed of playing college basketball at Pitt.

Instead, he went to Ohio State as a football player.

Now, he’s a first round draft pick. Hooker, had seven interceptions last season, three of which were returned for a touchdown. Overall, the 6-1, 206-pound safety is a ball hawking defender. He makes great reads and jumps routes.

Last year, he was a first-team All-American and All Big 10. He had 74 tackles, but that’s honestly not one of his strong suits. If anything, tackling is where he needs to improve upon.

The Colts needed a safety though as they let Mike Adams go in the offseason. They do have T.J. Green, Clayton Geathers and Darius Butler at safeties, so having Hooker in the mix will allow Geathers to roam as a hybrid safety/linebacker.

Strengths:

Roams the field, and has great instincts to make plays on the ball

Weaknesses:

Tackling and limited experience. He was redshirted in 2014, and only had 10 tackles in 2015. Had just one breakout year.

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