Round 3 (86th Overall): Amani Hooker, S, Iowa
Continuing to add to the secondary, the Houston Texans need to think longterm at safety as Tyrann Mathieu is no longer on the roster due to leaving in free agency, and free agent signing Tashaun Gipson was signed to a one-year deal, so this would be a great situation to select Amani Hooker of Iowa this season.
Last year, the Texans selected Justin Reid at safety in the third round, and he’s made his mark on the roster after just one season, as the free safety played in all 16 regular season games and totaled three interceptions, 12 starts and had one touchdown. Reid also had 10 passes defensed and one forced fumble.
Imagine if the Texans can build their secondary with not only Julian Love in the second round, but then adding Hooker in the third round. The future of the Texans secondary would be strong, as the AFC South is only to get stronger, too.
Hooker can play a physical style of football, and if that is the case, teams like the Indianapolis Colts and others in the division wouldn’t dominate the Texans like they did last season in some games. Lance Zierlein of NFL.com wrote this of Hooker in his draft profile, having him as a third-round projection:
"“Hybrid safety with an advanced feel for play design and recognition of where the ball is going and how to play it. He could thrive in a “robber” role or as a big nickel where he can match up against pass-catching tight ends.”"
Hooker could be huge for when the Texans face the Colts and Eric Ebron is on the field for the opposition, and stopping the Colts will be key for the Texans not only qualifying for the playoffs for years to come, but to have success in the playoffs as well. Hooker is one of those players who will make a difference for whatever teams he lands with, and for the Texans, they should hope it is them.