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Safety Prospect Malik Hooker Will Miss NFL Combine After Shoulder Surgery

NFL Draft

If you were curious to see how safety Malik Hooker – the No. 2 draft prospect according NFL.com’s Daniel Jeremiah – would perform under the bright lights of the NFL Combine, prepare to be disappointed.

Hooker, the Ohio State product who has the kind of high-end ball-hawking skills in the defensive secondary that could make him the highest-picked safety in the history of the NFL Draft, will miss the NFL Combine after undergoing shoulder surgery.

Over at NFL.com, Chase Goodbread writes Hooker will not participate because of “core muscle and labrum surgery” according to NFL Network teammate Ian Rapoport.


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It is an injury (first reported by WalterFootball.com and Matt Miller of Bleacher Report) that could keep Hooker out of action for 4-6 months. Miller reports Hooker played through these injuries late in the season, which is impressive considering how well he played down the stretch against Michigan and Clemson in the season’s final two games.

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Miller adds that he doesn’t expect Hooker’s stock to drop and still has him ranked as a top-10 player. You can see where Hooker lands in mock drafts in this breakdown from Brett here.

On Tuesday, we looked at Hooker as a fit for the Bears as the third overall pick through the lens of Dan Durkin’s analytical breakdown of Hooker’s game over at The Athletic. As you know, the Bears are overdue to add help at safety.

It will be worth monitoring Hooker’s progress and recovery for obvious reasons. However, it opens up a question for the Bears – can they draft a player coming off surgery after recently using a high first round pick on Kevin White, who has had two injury-riddled seasons since being drafted seventh by the Bears in 2015?


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Luis Medina

Luis is the Lead Writer at The Ten-Yard Line, and you can find him on Twitter at @lcm1986.