2017 Positional Preview: Safety

COLUMBUS, OH - NOVEMBER 26: Malik Hooker
COLUMBUS, OH - NOVEMBER 26: Malik Hooker /

The Colts’ passing defense has been a liability over the last two seasons as they’ve missed the playoffs each year. They may have selected the best player in the draft to help solve that problem.

Indianapolis’ defense ranked 27th against the pass last season, according to Football Outsiders, and new general manager Chris Ballard was determined to upgrade the pass defense in the draft.

He selected defensive backs with each of the Colts’ first two draft picks getting CB Quincy Wilson in the second round and S Malik Hooker with the 15th overall pick.

I don’t think any draft analysts’ mock draft had Malik Hooker falling to the Colts, but Indianapolis’ front office was thrilled that he was available.

Hooker is an incredible playmaker. He picked off 7 passes for Ohio State last season, and brought 3 of them back for touchdowns.

His playmaking skills have drawn comparisons to Ed Reed, and his outstanding range could have an Earl Thomas-like effect on this Colts defense.

Clayton Geathers is currently slotted in at the other starting safety position, but his status for Week 1 is uncertain after offseason neck surgery.

The Colts must be cautious with a serious injury such as Geathers’, but he proved that he can play at a high level in his nine starts last season. A Geathers-Hooker duo at safety could totally transform this Indianapolis pass defense if they’re both healthy.

If Geathers is unable to go, T.J. Green would be the likely replacement.

Green struggled to adjust to the NFL game as a second-round rookie last season, but he has some insane athleticism and the potential to develop into a starting safety.

While the Colts are excited about Hooker’s future, they are just as concerned about Geathers’ injury. If Geathers hears some good news about his neck recovery, this could be one of the NFL’s great young safety tandems.

In case you missed it, here are our other positional previews:

Wide Receiver

Tight End

Offensive Tackle

Offensive Guard


Edge Defender

Defensive Tackle