Amani Hooker

S, Iowa

  • Conf Big Ten - West
  • Jersey #27
  • Class Junior
  • HT 6'0"
  • DOB --
  • WT 210 lbs
ANALYST'S REPORTS

Ledyard

Crabbs

Marino

    Range - Super limited athlete who can't really open up and run well enough to defend a ton of territory in zone. Doesn't have the speed to play single-high and have an expansive area of effectiveness. Didn't give up many big plays, but had some moments on tape where receivers ran by him too easily, long speed to carry vertically over his head is a big question.

    Ball Skills - Loves to bait quarterbacks into throws, but doesn't often arrive in time to make a play on the ball. Elite eyes to read quarterbacks in zone coverage, putting himself in position to slide into throwing lanes for interceptions. Terrific hands to make high-point catches outside his frame. Ball skills will be as good as his athleticism/closing speed allow them to be, everything else is there.

    Man Coverage - Awareness and technique are solid. Intentionally plays off his man to try to bait quarterbacks into throws, but then doesn't often show the explosiveness needed to close quickly on the window. Transitions are clunky, long speed is questionable. May be hard to find a great fit for him in coverage, not athletic enough to match the shifty, explosive slot receivers and doesn't have the length or hops to contest with tight ends at the catch point.

    Fluidity/Agility - Unable to adjust his path on the fly if his opponent changes the pursuit angle. Tight in the hips and clunky in his turns from rolled up position in coverage. Doesn't mirror particularly well in space and can't accelerate with quicker skill players trying to run by him.

    Tackling - If he squares you up, he'll lay the wood. Can wrap up and drive through targets with good form. Issues come when he's over-aggressive and fails to break down in space. Shiftier ball carriers give him fits in space, as he struggled to mirror them laterally. Reliant on good angles to the ball, which can be spotty at times.

    Run Defense - Toughness and willingness are non-issues, won't hesitate to mix it up. Takes aggressive angles at times and can abandon his run fills to try and make a play he's typically not athletic enough to make. Better run defender when he's around the line of scrimmage when the ball is snapped then coming from deep. Does a great job setting the edge and playing with outside leverage to turn runs back inside as a slot corner. Quick processor who comes downhill at max speed when he IDs run. Too easily eliminated by blockers, even on the perimeter.

    Route Recognition - One of the smartest zone defenders in the class. Trusts his eyes and has outstanding feel for routes entering his zone. Awareness to process and react is impressive. As a slot, IDs screens from film study and will enter attack mode early in the rep. Plays aggressive as a result of the work he's put in from the neck up.

    Versatility - Aligned in the slot for Iowa frequently, while also being able to play in deep zones and around the box as needed. Versatility was a collegiate strength, but more due to his smarts than his traits, which could limit how many roles he can fill in the NFL. Production from a single-high position might be significantly limited due to lack of range and explosiveness.

    Competitive Toughness - Never hesitant to stick his nose in the pile. Physical and won't back down from rigorous work around the box. Plays every snap hard and has talked extensively about film work playing a major role in how he plays on game days.

    Athleticism/Size - Terrific size and strength for the position. Build is filled out and looks pro-ready. Athleticism is a major question mark. Combine is as big for his stock as any player in the country.




    BEST TRAIT - Instincts/Route Recognition

    WORST TRAIT - Range/Athleticism

    RED FLAGS - None

    You know when scouts say they want to like a player, but they just can't get there? Hooker is the living embodiment of that feeling. His smarts, awareness and mental processing as a player are rare, but so is his lack of athleticism in a Power 5 starting safety. Hooker is just too limited in his movement skills and explosiveness to make good on his mental prowess as a coverage safety, and he's more capable than highly impactful around the line of scrimmage.

    Hooker's odd combination of ball skills without range, physicality without great tackling and high football IQ without projecting to a super versatile role in the NFL make him a tough study. At worst he's a core special teamer and good depth piece at defensive back however, which makes him worth adding with a mid-round pick.