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Colts Mailbag Weekend Edition: How Does Malik Hooker Impact The Safety Position?

Intro: In Saturday’s mailbag, readers inquire about where Clayton Geathers will line up in 2017, a closer look at Stephen Morris/Scott Tolzien and the future for Ryan Grigson in the NFL.

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INDIANAPOLIS – Each week, readers of Colts.com can submit their questions to have a chance of them being answered in our Wednesday or Saturday mailbag.

With the abundance of questions in recent weeks, we will have two mailbags each week. This one comes via a weekend edition (here's the Wednesday version from this week).

Austin S. (Connersville, IN)

Hi Kevin, hope everything is going well for you. Well, draft time is finally here and for Colts 1st round, I think they chose someone no one saw coming. I honestly thought Hooker would be gone in the top 10. A lot of people are complaining about the pick, but I believe he has tremendous potential and can be an instant starter. What do you personally think of the pick? Also what are they going to do with Geathers, Butler, and Green? I don't know too much about Hooker but it seems to me that it would make more sense if he paired up with Geathers instead of Butler. Do you think Butler will go back to being a corner or maybe play both roles?

Bowen: We had quite a few inquiries regarding these sorts of questions in Saturday's mailbag. In short, I have no idea how the Colts will handle the abundance of safeties on the roster. The Colts needed to upgrade their playmaking at safety. Malik Hooker does exactly that. The Colts had eight total interceptions last season in 16 games. Hooker had seven himself in 13 games. Geathers is going to play. He has a presence that you have to have on the field. Maybe this pick means we will see Geathers closer to the line of scrimmage more often. With Butler, the Colts know they have some flexibility, but I still think the veteran voice of his is necessary at the back end of things. Green has some cornerback potential, however the Colts have said that he's a safety (for now). One issue here is that Hooker will miss the offseason program so the Colts won't get a look at all four these guys until Training Camp. Teams nowadays use plenty of sub packages, so there's room to use these guys. How exactly it will all unfold is anyone's guess.

Virk G. (San Jose)

Hey Kevin!

With the Colts drafting Malik Hooker, do you think they'll change Clayton Geathers either permanently at LB or have him play that hybrid linebacker/safety role they had him playing sometimes?

Bowen: I'm not sure if a permanent move to linebacker is coming for Geathers. That doesn't mean he won't see plenty of reps down at linebacker this fall. The Colts have some rangy/cover safeties. They need to be on the field. Geathers excels near the line of scrimmage. So it makes sense for the Colts to have Geathers in a linebacker role, when down and distance presents those situations.

Zach C. (Fort Dodge, IA)

Since number 24 is retired by the Colts, what number is Malik Hooker going to wear?

Bowen: It will be jersey No. 29 for Malik Hooker in Indianapolis. Joseph Addai, one of Hooker's favorite players growing up, also wore No. 29 as a former first-round pick. Why did Hooker choose it? Here was his answer: "I picked 29 because he's like my big brother (Bradley) Roby. He plays on the Broncos, and that was one of the guys that taught me the ropes early at Ohio State and a person I looked up to when I first went to Ohio State. So, it was either 28 or 29. That's why I chose 29."

Nick M. (Long Island, IN)

Hi Mr.Bowen, while you are assuredly getting multiple draft questions this week, mine focuses on something else. Donte Moncrief, Philip Dorset, and Kamar Aiken all are going to need a big year to stay with the team. Does this set up one of them for failure? Surely they can't all have 1,000yards, especially with the league leading receiving yards leader on the team. What do you think would be appropriate receiving statistics for them to stay with Indy? This question is less geared Moncrief as he has already proven himself as a solid 2 receiver behind TY, but what about Dorset and Aiken? Any response is much appreciated!

Bowen: I don't think there are hardcore numbers the Colts have in mind to evaluate those guys. The personnel department knows how crowded the wide receiver room is in 2017. They will have plenty of film to be able to truly decide how the future will go at receiver. With Aiken's one-year deal, Moncrief in a contract year and Dorsett approaching the end of his rookie deal, the Colts clearly have some decisions to make. Over a 16-game season, there will be plenty of opportunities for those guys to prove themselves. Dorsett has to become more well-rounded. Aiken needs to be a presence in the red zone and within the specific role(s) that Rob Chudzinski uses him in. Moncrief just needs to stay healthy and produce like he's done, when healthy.

Anthony O. (Springfield, MO)

Hey Kevin,

Just wanted to say I am super excited to have Hooker join our secondary. Couple questions on this pick up for you. How much more versatile do you see the secondary being with his addition? I think it gives a ton of options from Butler playing nickel, Green moving down to some CB options and even being able to use Geathers in some possible blitz LB schemes with Hooker and Butler hanging back ballhawking. Like I said, really great add and so glad he is with us. My other question is this, I know they said Hooker was the number 1 player on their draft board, outside of the obvious players like Luck and Manning, how many other times have the Colts picked the player they had number 1 on their board? Thanks for your time and already a great start to the draft!

Bowen: We had the secondary questions sprinkled in throughout the mailbag, so check those out elsewhere. The Colts never said Malik Hooker was the No. 1 player on their draft board. They said he was very high on the board. I would guess in the 5-to-10 range.

Scott B. (Fishers, IN)

Looking at some of the CB prospects, the thought of having a corner over 6-foot looks appealing. It got me thinking/wondering... When was the last time the Colts had an over 6-foot corner atop the depth chart? Was it Marlon Jackson or do we have to go further back? I am kinda hoping we may be able to pick up a box set of over 6 corners this year in the draft (assuming something like rounds 1 and 4)... Seems like that would give a little umpf to some red zone nickel packages. Or do you think that's even a thing?

Bowen: Technically, Marlin Jackson was listed at 6-0. The Colts have had a few under the radar corners listed above 6-0 in recent years. Guys like Jalil Brown (6-1), Sheldon Price at (6-2), Teddy Williams (6-1) and Chris Rucker (6-1) were all listed at over six foot. Chris Ballard wants taller cornerbacks and that was a big reason why Quincy Wilson (6-1) was the choice in Round Two on Friday night.

Philo V. (Lacey, WA)

Really, Morris over Tolzien? If you were a coach, which QB would you pick? To me Morris got more accuracy than Tolzien. Open your eye when watching the game, because us fans see it all. It's not about more experience now days, it's about skills and athletic and we see that in Morris. So he is way better backup for Luck.

Bowen: In last year's preseason, Scott Tolzien had a completion percentage of 66.1. Stephen Morris had a completion percentage of 63.9. Look, there's a definite debate to be had, but my eyes are open watching the game and you cannot ignore the experience factor that Tolzien brings. Let's go back to the one start Tolzien had this year. It came on a short week against the Steelers. You would be asking quite a lot of Morris' nerves to prepare that quickly for a Thanksgiving night game against one of the best teams in the NFL. Tolzien certainly was not the reason the Colts lost that game. The ceiling for Morris is high. If he can show this preseason that he's made another jump, the Colts will have a decision to make. But let's not undermine Tolzien and act like he's not a competent backup quarterback.

Martin G. (Topolcany, Slovakia)

Hi Kevin,

I remember that you made an interview with some of our new FA signings. I would like to know if you will interview our draft picks and also if you will interview the rest of our players. I would really like to know more about every player in our roster. I would like to see more interviews of our players just to know them a little more. Maybe you could create a new segment in this website where players would react on different thinks throughout the season and give us (fans) more answers.

I am very excited for the draft. Good luck in your work.

Bowen: Martin, head here to the video page for tons of video content/interviews on the draft picks. We will be having various video pieces throughout the offseason/season highlighting the roster. Stay glued to that page.

Douglas H. (West Milford, NJ)

Hello and thanks again for all your work you do for the fans. I know all the intrest is about the draft and free agency and our new GM but i have a quick question about our old GM. Do you feel Ryan Grigson will eventually be a GM for another team or were the Colts his one shot and didnt build a strong enough resume? He did miss on some crucial high picks and a few not so positive trades and signings but he did also make some good late and mid round picks and some really nice free agent pick ups. I know its an odd question i just wanted to see what you thought. Thank you again

Bowen: I'm curious to see what Ryan Grigson's next move is after the draft. That's the time when scouting departments shift around the NFL. If Grigson wants to get back into the scouting world right away, I'd expect his name to find some sort of home pretty soon. For Grigson to get another GM job, I think he's going to have to prove himself as an assistant personnel guy somewhere else first. If that team can have success with their roster building and the returns are strong in Grigson playing a role in that, I expect him to get another chance. You see GMs bounce get second chances before and Grigson is young enough to have another opportunity down the road.

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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