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Charley Casserly Believes Malik Hooker Ends Up As First-Team All-Rookie Selection

Posted May 29, 2017

Intro: Charley Casserly, the former general manager with the Washington Redskins and Houston Texans, knows a thing or two about instant-impact rookies. The NFL Network analyst believes the Indianapolis Colts “got a good one” with safety Malik Hooker.

INDIANAPOLIS — Charley Casserly knows a thing or two about instant-impact rookies.

As general manager of the Washington Redskins and Houston Texans, he was responsible for selecting the likes of returner Brian Mitchell, running back Stephen Davis, wide receiver Keenan McCardell, tight end Frank Wycheck, cornerback Champ Bailey, wide receiver Andre Johnson, returner Jerome Mathis, linebacker DeMeco Ryans, defensive end Mario Williams, and tight end Owen Daniels, among many others.

Now as an analyst for the NFL Network, Casserly is depended upon to provide his insights on the newest future batch of NFL stars.

And that’s just what Casserly believes the Indianapolis Colts have in safety Malik Hooker.

Hooker, the 15th-overall pick by Indianapolis out of Ohio State, was listed on Casserly’s projected 2017 All-Rookie Team as a first-team safety.

Here’s what Casserly had to say about Hooker’s selection, as highlights of the former Buckeye were playing on the screen:

“This is Mr. Centerfield. Watch the range of Malik Hooker with the Indianapolis Colts now — you can see he’s with Ohio State, but he’s with the Colts now. So tremendous range, very good ball skills. Again, watch him get down here into the centerfield area and then break back to make the interception. This guy, again — excellent ball skills, range, instincts. That’s what you want in a centerfielder. The Colts got a good one with Malik Hooker.”

He was joined on this list by:

DE: Myles Garrett (Cleveland Browns)
DE: Jonathan Allen (Washington Redskins)
DE: Solomon Thomas (San Francisco 49ers)
DE: Takkarist McKinley (Atlanta Falcons)
LB: Ryan Anderson (Washington Redskins)
LB: Reuben Foster (San Francisco 49ers)
LB: Tim Williams (Baltimore Ravens)
CB: Marshon Lattimore (New Orleans Saints)
S: Malik Hooker (Indianapolis Colts)
S: Jamal Adams (New York Jets)
CB: Tre’Davious White (Buffalo Bills)

Hooker burst onto the national scene in 2016, as head led the nation with three interceptions returned for touchdowns and ranked second nationally with 181 interception return yards and finished third in the nation with seven total interceptions.

He was named unanimous First Team All-America choice and a 2016 Thorpe Award semifinalist, an award given annually to the nation’s top defensive back.

In a separate appearance on CSN Mid-Atlantic prior to the draft, Casserly provided a more detailed breakdown of Hooker’s game and where he projects as a professional:

“Positives: he’s athletic, he’s fluid; I like his hips. I like his range in centerfield and his ability to be very good in reading and reacting in zone defense. He has great break on the football when the quarterback throws it. He’s a physical player through the receiver. So what are his negatives? Well sometimes he can be over-aggressive and leave his feet and be inconsistent in his tackling. And I’ve seen sometimes where he doesn’t take the proper angles. But there’s no question: this guy’s a Top 10 player. Eric Berry went fifth in the draft; I think Eric Berry was a little bit more of a complete player in coverage and tackling ability. Earl Thomas went (No.) 14 — I like Hooker better than Thomas. This guy’s going to go in the Top 10; some people might even have him as their top safety. I have him as my No. 2.”

Urban Meyer, Hooker’s head coach at Ohio State, addressed those perceived tackling issues recently in an appearance on The Dan Dakich Show, however.

“He’s an excellent tackler, not a good tackler,” Meyer says of Hooker. “He had some bad angles on the video tape (ESPN) showed (during the draft).

“With experience, I think he’ll be a long-time safety in the NFL.”




The analysis from those producing content on Colts.com does not necessarily represent the thoughts of the Indianapolis Colts organization. Any conjecture, analysis or opinions formed by Colts.com content creators is not based on inside knowledge gained from team officials, players or staff.
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