Colts Draft Ohio State Safety Malik Hooker In First Round

Intro: The Colts started off their 2017 NFL Draft by finding a defensive playmaker. Safety Malik Hooker, from Ohio State, was the choice with the 15th overall pick.

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INDIANAPOLIS – When the defenders started falling during Thursday's opening round, the Colts knew they would be getting a player pretty high on their board.

Ohio State safety Malik Hooker was the choice at No. 15 overall for Chris Ballard and the Colts.**

Getting To Know Malik Hooker-Why Hooker?**

Chris Ballard spoke throughout the draft process how he wanted playmakers in the secondary. Hooker is just that. Last year, Hooker had seven interceptions (third most nationally). Known for his range at the backend of the defense, Hooker was rated as one of the top safeties in the 2017 draft class. Upgrading the secondary was always a focus heading into the offseason and Hooker offers the Colts plenty of flexibility in how they use their defensive backs next season. The Colts brought Hooker in for a top-30 visit during the draft process.-Hooker's playmaking

One thing missing from the Colts last season was playmaking out of the secondary. The Colts ranked 26th in forced turnovers, not creating enough chances for the offense via takeaways. Hooker took three of his seven interceptions back for touchdowns last season. At 6-2 and 205 pounds, Hooker's ball skills were a major reason why some draft pundits thought he would go in the top-10 of the draft. While Hooker's tackling is a concern, his coverage ability was a definite strong suit. As Chuck Pagano said, "see ball, get ball" is how the Colts will handle Hooker, offering up an Ed Reed comparison. The Colts will have to wait a bit to see Hooker on the field. Surgery earlier this year for Hooker (hip/groin) will likely keep the first-round pick out of action until Training Camp.-Where does Hooker fit?

Basketball in high school kept Hooker away from the football field until his junior year. Hooker is very raw with his experience at safety. Hooker redshirted at Ohio State in 2014 and did not become a full-time starter until 2016. The Colts are going to have plenty of options in how they choose to use Hooker and the other defensive backs next season. With Hooker, Clayton Geathers, T.J. Green and Darius Butler, the Colts have some decisions to make when multiple defensive backs are needed. Butler, who moved to safety when he re-signed in March, has ample nickel cornerback experience. Coming out of college, Green was thought to be a possible cornerback at the next level. Ted Monachino now has plenty of choices for his defensive packages in 2017.

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