New York Jets: Is Ohio State's Malik Hooker The Next Ed Reed?
December 9, 2012; Landover, MD, USA; Baltimore Ravens free safety Ed Reed (20) watches from the sidelines against the Washington Redskins at FedEx Field. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Jets need safety help and the 2017 NFL Draft has plenty of star safeties to chose from. Will the Jets dip their toe into the Ohio State pond?

I talked about it in both my podcast (The Jets Zone) and in my Mock Draft V1. This safety class between Jamal Adams and Malik Hooker could be Eric BerryEarl Thomas 2.0.

Listen to “The Jets Zone: Full 2017 Mock Draft Breakdown With Boy Green” on Spreaker.

The talent in this pool is unbelievable. The New York Jets sitting at No. 6 would be beyond clicking their heels like Dorothy if either were available. While there is some concerns with both, lets hear what a scout told me about Malik Hooker’s potential at the next level, via ESPN Radio in Syracuse.

“I think Malik Hooker is going in the top-10. Although it should be noted, he’s one of the biggest roll of the dice picks in this draft. He’s got superb range, rare range. You hear the Earl Thomas and Ed Reed comparisons. While that may be too high of praise, but you can see why people are saying those things. The talent level and the upside is there. What you worry about with Hooker is overall tackling. He missed a ton of tackles this year and you’re going to put him back there? Is he ready to start right away? He might not be.”

“The second problem is health. Double hernia, labrum issues, wasn’t able to workout at the combine or Pro Days. Those durability concerns make you wonder, he’s a big kid (6’2″, 215) with great speed but he throws his body around, almost recklessly. You’ve got to worry about his long-term health at the safety position. Despite that, I think he warrants a top-10 pick based purely off of that upside and talent.”

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While the NFL hasn’t been the same for a number of reasons. First off, since the great safety era has retired, it hasn’t been truly replaced. We as NFL fans were spoiled because we saw two of the game’s best safeties in history, at the same time.

That being Ed Reed and Troy Polamalu.

In the late 1990’s early 2000’s, or even 1980’s with guys like Ronnie Lott, Rodney Harrison, Brian Dawkins, Bob Sanders, Darren Sharper, John Lynch, etc.

The game has changed, however, from a rules perspective. Those bone-crushing hits from the past have been rendered illegal by the powers that be. Big-hitting defensive backs no longer possess the value they once enjoyed. The safeties of today such as Earl Thomas, Kam Chancellor, Harrison Smith, and Eric Berry are simply shells of the past.

But I won’t be the old man shaking his fist at the tide. Ed Reed had the perfect combination of those spine-shattering hits with unreal range.

Hooker has that kind of potential, we talked about the biggest boom or bust prospect on the offensive side in Patrick Mahomes, maybe Hooker is that on defense?

In my latest mock draft projections, I have him falling into the laps of the newly crowned Los Angeles Chargers. They grabbed a nice Ohio State product in Defensive Rookie of the Year in Joey Bosa, maybe they could nab themselves another.

CHECK OUT the New York Jets Team Center: News, Stats, Standings

Although all the teams in the New York area could use an upgrade at the safety position. Specifically for the New York Jets, lets discuss this potential fit and would the Jets pull the trigger at six?

This is what ESPN beat writer Rich Cimini had to say about the Jets’ biggest need left…

“Marcus Gilchrist (knee surgery) probably won’t be ready for training camp and Calvin Pryor is coming off a disappointing season. Backup Rontez Miles saw significant action in 2016, but he’s not viewed as starting material. Look for the Jets to address the need in the draft, possibly with the No. 6 overall pick. Top prospects Jamal Adams and Malik Hooker could be in play for the Jets at that spot.”

If it was up to me I’d be all over Jamal Adams, but I don’t think he’s going to be available. The problem is Malik Hooker might not be either.

The Jets need to take the best player available, if either of these safeties are on the board it’s going to be hard to pass on them. Even with the potential allure of a franchise quarterback at the top of the draft.

 NEXT: Boy Green’s 2017 NFL Mock Draft, Version 1: New York Jets Go QB 


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Paul A. Esden, Jr.

People call me Boy Green for my unwavering dedication to all things New York Jets. I work at The Score 1260 in Syracuse and I’m extremely passionate about sports. I aspire to continue my rise through the business and hopefully I’ll end up working for the New York Jets in some capacity.