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NFL draft results 2017: Malik Hooker taken by the Colts No. 15

College football’s premiere ball hawk will be a difference maker in the NFL.

Malik Hooker, the No. 15 pick in the 2017 NFL draft

The Indianapolis Colts didn't have to go far to pluck the best safety in the 2017 NFL Draft.

Posted by Land-Grant Holy Land - For Ohio State fans on Thursday, April 27, 2017

Former standout Ohio State safety Malik Hooker was drafted at No. 15 overall in the first round of the 2017 NFL Draft by the Indianapolis Colts.

How did Hooker do at the combine?

"I'm a special player, capable of doing a lot of things," Hooker said back in March. " ... The film says what it says."

Hooker had to tell NFL scouts and general managers to trust the film because he could not participate in the NFL combine nor Ohio State’s pro day due to injury. The safety underwent surgery on Jan. 16 to repair a torn labrum in his left hip and to repair sports hernias.

While he could not compete in the physical tests or field drills in Indianapolis, Hooker was measured at 6’1, 206 lbs and his hands were a measured at a gigantic 10 3/4” —which is well over the historical average for a safety (9 3/8”).

How good was Hooker in college?

Malik Hooker arrived at Ohio State as a 3-star athlete, who excelled in basketball in high school more than football. Once on campus, Hooker redshirted his freshman year and was on the verge of quitting the team before the coaching staff and his mother talked him out of it.

Due to his tendency to make plays at practice throughout his redshirt freshman year, Hooker found himself as a consistent special teams contributor. When safeties Vonn Bell and Tyvis Powell moved onto the NFL, Hooker jumped the highly touted recruits ahead of him and started as a redshirt sophomore.

Hooker displayed his elite instincts, range and ball skills from the first game of the season, where he made two spectacular interceptions against Bowling Green. He finished his lone season as a starter with 74 tackles, seven interceptions (three returned for touchdowns) and First Team All-American honors.

It’s pretty incredible that Hooker was able to make one of the most impressive plays of the season when he showed off his elite range on an interception against Clemson’s Deshaun Watson — while battling a torn labrum in his hip and sports hernias.

Playmaker.

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