Malik Hooker, a former first-rounder out of Ohio State, is one of the most intriguing free agents still available in the NFL. It looks like the Dallas Cowboys are in good position.
Hooker has visited with a number of prominent franchises over the last few months. Both the Miami Dolphins and Pittsburgh Steelers have hosted him as well, after the Indianapolis Colts declined to pick up his fifth-year option.
He is currently on a second visit to Dallas, according to multiple reports. Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network makes it seem like Dallas is the team, as long as nothing goes awry during this visit.
“The Cowboys and former first-round pick Malik Hooker have visited twice and he provides help at a position of need,” Rapoport tweeted moments ago. “Assuming all goes well, he’ll join Dallas with a chance to kick-start his career.”
Free agent safety Malik Hooker is visiting the Dallas Cowboys again.
He’s a former first round pick of the Colts.
— Field Yates (@FieldYates) July 23, 2021
The #Cowboys and former first-round pick Malik Hooker have visited twice and he provides help at a position of need. Assuming all goes well, he’ll join Dallas with a chance to kick-start his career.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) July 23, 2021
Quality play hasn’t been Hooker’s issue at the NFL level. Availability has been a real struggle for him.
So far, he hasn’t played a full 16-game season in the NFL. He has 36 games under his belt, with 35 starts, topping out at 14 in 2018. last year, he missed all but two games with a torn Achilles.
During his rookie year, he tore his ACL and MCL, which limited him to seven games this season. When he is on the field, he’s very productive, with 124 career tackles, seven interceptions, 11 passes defended, and two fumble recoveries. If he can stay healthy, he should give the Cowboys secondary a real lift.