Weight: 210 lbs
Injury History: 2017: Bruised Knee (Missed 3 games)
Games Evaluated: 2018: Mississippi State, Iowa State, Maryland, Ohio State
Scout: John Stocco
His quickness, agility, and change of direction is really good in short areas of the field. his lack of flexibility and average athletic traits can hurt his progress in the NFL in the open field and in areas with a lot of grass in front of him.
Average flexibility could hurt Hooker's ability to stop the deep throw. He's seen to get hurt on vertical routes where a receiver that is more explosive than him burns him down the field.
Deep Speed: 6.40
Doesn't have burning speed to keep up with more explosive and athletic receivers down the field.
Shows above average explosion when he's closing in against the run, but shows that he can get burned on deep throws and play action passes.
His ball skills, hip work, and his play against the run and in zone coverage shows proof that he has good coordination.
Coverage Ability: 6.98
Man Press: 6.90
Hooker has a lot of experience in man press on the goal line. The physicality he brings to the line of scrimmage plus his ball hawking skills, he can be dangerous to target at the goal line.
Man Off: 6.70
Physically he gets the job done on the goal line, but he's not known for his twitchy-ness, or being an elite athlete, so he might find himself in trouble when he's playing man in open space.
His steady footwork, great instincts and anticipation makes him a better safety in zone. Like the leader of the defense he has a natural feel to where the play is going.
Hand Fighting: 7.10
Does a good job fighting with his hands to shed off blocks on defense and on special teams.
Hips/Turn Ability: 6.80
Hooker has fluid hips which shows in his instincts, ball skills, and defending the zone in short coverage, although he shows that he can turn his hips a tad too late at times.
Play Making: 7.27
Closing Quickness: 7.10
Hooker has above average closing quickness. He doesn't have the elite run stopping quickness but he takes smart angles to get to where he needs to be.
Ball skills: 7.30
Hooker has a real knack for the ball. When you're throwing in his direction you're in danger of getting your pass picked or getting the pass deflected.
Route/play Diagnosis: 7.40
He shows a high football IQ. Hooker overlaps routes and his eyes are always locked in on the backfield showing a good sense for where the ball is going.
Run Support: 7.40
Quickness Upfield: 7.10
His quickness helps in the run defense, but his upfield quickness shows that Hooker can cover a lot of ground and become a great special teams player.
Fight Through Blocks: 7.40
Receivers are no match for Hooker when he's getting blocked by them. Facing the pass in the flat, Hooker used his strength to shed blocks and be the first one at the scene.
When Hooker gets his arms around you it's a sure thing you're going down. He covers good amount of field to track the ball carrier. One negative to his tackling is that he has a habit of tackling with his just shoulder.
He showed his toughness in Iowa by being able to play in a hybrid role at Iowa. He shows physicality against the run and in goal line coverage being able to attack players bigger and faster than him.
Hooker put up big numbers in college. Contributed on defense and special teams. He played a hybrid safety/linebacker position at Iowa. He won Big Ten DB of the Year, having 65 tackles, 3.5 tackles for loss, 4 interceptions, and 7 broken up passes.
Hooker always brought 100% of his game when he played at Iowa. On defense and especially on special teams he was always prepared to make a play.
Shows great instincts out on the field almost playing like the quarterback of the defense. Good anticipation of where the ball is going.
Hooker lacks recovery speed when he gets burned or whenever the few times he takes the wrong angles against the pass and the run.
Helps his teammates out on defense. Showing that he can lead by example knowing the opponents personnel.
Size, length, and build that fits the NFL. Zone coverage skills are superb and his ball skills are even better. Solid tackler at all levels with his toughness and violent hand usage against blockers. High football IQ matched with great recognition for where the ball is going. His physicality makes him a problem on the goal line, against the run, and when he's in man coverage against a tight end. He's a versatile football player that has experience playing the role of linebacker as a hybrid. A big body and physical nickel that can defend pass catching tight ends.
Doesn't show great acceleration. When he's beat his recovery skills aren't as good as you'd like. Lacking elite flexibility can hurt him during deep passes.
Amani Hooker is one of the smartest safeties coming into the draft. He shows great recognition, and he's the type of safety that can be a hybrid between a safety and a linebacker at the next level. His instincts, awareness, and route recognition is what makes him a stand out player in this draft and those the best traits of his game. His overall athleticism and fluidity isn't where it needs to be when you're talking about elite safeties, but Hooker is still a player that can make an impact on a defense because of his ball skills and physicality against the run and man press on the goal line. Most likely a player that's going to get picked on day two, Hooker will be a starting safety in the NFL, and at worst he will be your anchor on special teams for the next decade.