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Gil Brandt: We’ll See Malik Hooker Flash His Ed Reed-Like Potential

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INDIANAPOLIS — What we all saw from Indianapolis Colts safety Malik Hooker as a rookie in 2017 showed exactly why the Colts drafted him in the first round — his playmaking ability.

Hooker started his first game in Week 2 against the Arizona Cardinals and made an interception off of quarterback Carson Palmer that perfectly displayed Hooker’s tracking ability. He then proceeded to intercept a pass the following two weeks as well.

Hooker’s season ended unfortunately after just seven games. He suffered a torn right ACL and MCL against the Jacksonville Jaguars and was placed on season-ending Injured Reserve. The good news is the injury happened early enough in the 2017 season that it's not believed to have threatened much of his 2018 campaign.

In fact, NFL.com senior analyst Gil Brandt thinks Hooker will get back to showing his elite playmaking skills when he returns to the field — enough to where Hooker could make his first Pro Bowl appearance for this upcoming season:

Hooker missed the last nine games of the season with a torn ACL. But in his first four games as a pro, he picked off three passes. Presuming Hooker's healthy come Week 1, we'll see the Ohio State product flash his Ed Reed-like potential. He has speed and ball skills and is exceptional in man coverage (one of the best I've ever scouted, in fact).

Hooker was still in rehab mode during OTAs and mandatory minicamp during the offseason, so he was not seen practicing with the team. However, he, along with several other players held out of practice, did individual work to help get themselves back onto the field.

On May 15, Hooker posted videos of himself on Instagram backpedaling and cutting on one of the Colts’ practice fields:

Check back on July 25, when the Colts report to training camp at Westfield's Grand Park Sports Campus, for an update on Hooker's status.

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