The Runner Sports

Malik Hooker Missed An Opportunity To Show Out At NFL Combine

With the impressive performance by the numerous defensive backs during the final day of the 2017 NFL Combine, there was one player missing out on the festivities. Ohio State Buckeyes’ Malik Hooker was unable to partake in any of the events on Monday.

Hooker, the standout safety with the 2016 Buckeyes, had surgery on Jan. 16 to repair a torn labrum and sports hernia. Apparently, Hooker played with these injuries during the regular season.

Arguably known as the best safety in college football, there’s a chance Hooker was not playing near 100 percent. If that’s the case, the ceiling really is the roof for the former Buckeyes’ phenom.

“The labrum tear, it felt like a groin injury, like something was connected to my groin that just wasn’t allowing me to do anything but walk,” Hooker told NFL.com as part of a regular Path To The Draft update he’ll be providing us throughout the spring. “And even when I walked it just felt like someone was punching me in the groin constantly.”

Unfortunately, Hooker won’t be able to return to action until May. He is slotted to become a top 10 pick in the first round of the 2017 NFL Draft. As a result, NFL organizations will have to draft Hooker based on tape and not on a manufactured workout in Indianapolis. However, Hooker could have earned a spot in the top five with a transcendent performance at the NFL Combine.

Instead, he had to watch his competitors produce on a high level. During his lone season as a starting safety, Hooker tallied 74 tackles and seven interceptions. He also scored three touchdowns last season. Now imagine if he was at full strength.

Overall, Hooker made 84 tackles during his Buckeyes career. There is a question if he’s durable enough to play in an NFL game right now; he played in 19 total college games. Due to his immaculate season, Hooker skyrocketed up the draft boards. Therefore, scouts don’t have a lot of game film on the best safety in college football.

Lyle Harrison
Football Me

Lyle Harrison

Big Ten Lead Writer at The Runner Sports
William Lyle Harrison is here to provide unique insight to your overrated college football team. He currently serves as the lead writer for Big Ten Football at The Runner Sports. Since joining the company in July 2016, Harrison has displayed a passion for sports that's been present since the early age of six.

Harrison has covered NFL, NBA, and CBB in the past. Earlier in his career, he was a national college football writer and Team writer for Husker Corner. Harrison also created the college football "Treat 16 Power Poll" some years back when college coaches relied on the running game.
Lyle Harrison
Football Me