5. Amani Hooker, Iowa 6-0, 210 (3)
Career Statistics: 125 tackles, 3.5 tackles for loss, 6 INTs, 9 broken up passes
Why Amani Hooker Is Here On The List: A far better football player than a workout warrior, Hooker has excellent size with a linebacker’s mentality, and is seemingly always around the ball with the range and smarts to be in the right position.
He might not have been a dominant force in pass coverage, but he was good enough. He’ll have to be surrounded by more speed and athleticism in the secondary, but as a run-stopper who’ll do just about everything right, he’s a starter in the NFL. There has to be a right position for him – he’s a strong safety – and he’ll be limited against deep ball passing games, but he’ll put up big numbers.
What The NFL Types Want To See: Any sort of athletic traits that stand out. He hits like a linebacker, but he can’t run and move like one in the various workouts. As long as he’s just okay, everything else on the tape should make up for it. Everyone knows what he can do, but he also has to have some of the tools.
Bottom Line: There are others in the draft who fit the safety mold a little more and should be a little bit safer, but Hooker is the type who’ll be taken just inside of the top 100 picks and will end up sticking around for a long time.