Malik Hooker Makes NFL Debut On Practice Field

Intro: The news on the Colts’ first Training Camp practice day of 2017 centered around the man they drafted 15th overall in April. What is the outlook for first-round pick Malik Hooker?

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INDIANAPOLIS – Malik Hooker, welcome to the NFL.

The first day of Training Camp for the Indianapolis Colts saw the professional debut for the first-round safety from Ohio State.

Following Sunday's practice, Hooker met the media, along with head coach Chuck Pagano and outside linebacker Jabaal Sheard.

S-Malik Hooker on the long wait to make his NFL debut:

"It's definitely tested my patience. Especially coming off a good year at Ohio State and having high expectations for yourself and the Colts' organization."


Bowen's Analysis:* *Hooker participated in individual and team drills for more than half of Sunday's practice. It was the first professional action of Hooker's career after he missed the entire spring recovering from January hip and hernia surgery. Hooker assured after Sunday's practice that the tweaked hamstring from last Monday, which initially placed him on the PUP list, is a non-issue.

The Colts have Hooker on a pitch count, evident Sunday when he left team drills and went for rehab work during the latter stages of practice. The missed time Hooker is trying to make up is certainly concerning, but the mental hurdle for the young safety is not expected to be as immense as perhaps other rookies. Sunday's practice was the first time Hooker has practiced on a football field since Ohio State's playoff run in late December. Seeing Hooker's reps prosper throughout August is a must in order to have the rookie ready to start come Sept. 10.

Chuck Pagano on the offensive line shuffling with Jack Mewhort at right guard and Joe Haeg at left guard:

"We are going to start with Jack on the right side and Joe on the left side. But you guys are going to see throughout Training Camp those guys move around obviously."

Bowen's Analysis: An early Training Camp surprise on Sunday came in the offensive trenches. We saw Jack Mewhort working at right guard, and Joe Haeg at left guard. Those spots are flipped from how the Colts worked in the spring. 

From a personnel standpoint, the Colts had the same starting five up front on Sunday. But the shuffling came at the guard spots. Haeg started at three different positions in his 2016 rookie campaign. Mewhort played some right guard as a rookie in 2014, but had appeared to settle in at left guard the past couple of years. Do the Colts want Mewhort, a more veteran presence, to support Le'Raven Clark, a young right tackle? We'll have to see if this is the look the Colts maintain through the first week of camp.

OLB-Jabaal Sheard on the full pads coming Tuesday:

"To me, that's football. I know everybody is excited to get out of these shells and jerseys and actually get some contact and play football. I know I'm looking for it."


Bowen's Analysis: Sunday's practice was pretty much an extension of how the Colts worked during OTAs. That's how the first two practices of Training Camp will go, before the collective bargaining agreement allows for full pads on Tuesday.

Sheard is one of the several new faces to the outside linebacker position. It's a group that must collectively try to muster up a more consistent pass rush. Tuesday will start to offer more realistic expectations as to what the pass rush could look like when the Colts open up the preseason in two weeks.

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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