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Making the Case: Malik Hooker, S, Ohio State

| April 14th, 2017

Any pass thrown in Malik Hooker’s general direction has a good chance to be intercepted. Do I really need to say more than that?

He has better range than any safety I’ve seen coming out of the draft and showed incredible hands in his one season at Ohio State. According to Pro Football Focus, 41 passes were thrown to guys he was covering. He either intercepted or defended 11 of them. He returned three interceptions for touchdowns while only giving up one score himself. His interception against Clemson was one of the best plays you will ever see a safety make.

For the Bears, that could be huge. They play in a division where two of the quarterbacks — Sam Bradford and Aaron Rodgers — avoid putting the ball in harm’s way at all costs. With Hooker on the field, the ball would almost always be in harm’s way if they threw near him.

Injuries & Inexperience

Hooker played only one season at OSU and had two surgeries, including one for a torn labrum in his hip. Perhaps he’ll recover 100 percent, but he’s on the small side so I don’t think it’s irrational to be concerned about his ability to hold up.

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