College Football Scouting Reports

Amani Hooker Scouting Report

NAME: Amani Hooker

SCHOOL: Iowa

CONFERENCE: Big Ten

POSITION: Safety

CLASS: Junior

RECRUITMENT RATING: 3-star

HT: 6’0

WT: 202 lbs

Change of Direction/Hip Fluidity: Lacks optimal twitch and fluidity when changing directions. Lower half looks stiff. Shown the ability to functionally turn, run, and get to his land mark early into reps. However, when he is forced to change directions in the heat of the play he struggles. His ability to tackle shiftier players in space suffers because of this.

Tackling: His best as a tackling occurs when playing down hill. Routinely squared up his opponents in the alley, wrapped up, and finished. Also showed the ability to pop players. Attempts to run him over head on usually ended poorly for his opponents. Issues with tackling start to flare up in space. Struggles to gear down and redirect at full speed, so cut backs/sudden shifts tend to give him problems. Can tackle at a lateral angle but definitely better squared up.

Instincts: Instincts are exceptional against the run. Consistently showed the ability to process quickly and pursue the ball carrier in a timely matter. Makes a ton of plays at the 1st and 2nd level because of this. Does not wait for the the play to come to him. Processes routes at a high level as well. Very good at reading patterns and anticipating where the ball is going. Is awesome at giving Quarterbacks the illusion of open receivers and than jumping the route when the ball is thrown his way. Lacks elite closing speed, but instincts compensate for theses short comings.

Range: Just doesn’t have the speed or change of direction ability to play single high. Foot speed steadily gets faster with time but top gear isn’t impressive. Can meet players at the sideline in lateral pursuit. Yet is going to give up some positive yards when doing so. Doesn’t have acceleration to trim angles. Will have to do most of his coverage work in the box/intermediate parts of the field. Very good in robber/buzz roles.

Man Coverage: Very sound technically. Can press receivers at the LOS, and read steps in off. His issues arise when he is out matched athletically. Quicker/twitchier slot receivers could give some trouble because of his change of direction limitations. Covering Tight Ends will probably be his best plan of attack.

Ball Skills: For not being a rangy ultra athlete, Hooker is a ball hawk. Like mentioned before, excels at baiting Quarterbacks into bad throws. Also disruptive at the catch point. A bunch of reps where he jars out passes of receivers hands or bats the ball down. Ability to mirror QB’s eyes in zone is truly elite.

Competitive Toughness: Exactly the kind of player Kurt Ferentz and his staff have been producing for years. Meaning Hooker is smart, physical, and tough. Teams will love the physicality that he brings to the field. Toughness should not be questioned.

Best Trait: Instincts

Worst Trait: Athleticism

Best Film: Ohio State (2017)

Worst Film: Iowa State (2018)

Pro Comparison: T.J. Ward

Amani Hooker projects favorably as Strong Safety who is going to spend most of his time near the line of scrimmage in the pros. His football IQ and physical play style make him a tremendous asset in run defense. Also, because he lacks the ideal athleticism to excel in deep coverage, most of his cover work should be done in the intermediate parts of the field.

That said, the combine will still be a huge part of his evaluation. If he tests like an average athlete, than I have no problem with making him a full time starter at Strong Safety. But if the combine shows that he has less than functional athleticism. Then he might be restricted to a situational type of role. Regardless, he is a plug and play prospect, and should be a solid contributor for years to come.

Work Cited

  1. Crabbs, Kyle. “2019 NFL Draft Player Profile: Amani Hooker.” The Draft Network, 10 Feb. 2019, thedraftnetwork.com/2019/02/10/2019-nfl-draft-player-profile-amani-hooker/.

 

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