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The 5 O’Clock Club — Would You Still Draft Malik Hooker at #17 Overall?

The Ohio State stud safety would otherwise be a slam dunk in the first round for any team, but his labrum problem might change that for some personnel men.

NCAA Football: Fiesta Bowl-Ohio State vs Clemson Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Today’s #5OCC topic (5 o’clock comes twice a day after all) centers around your appetite to draft an otherwise slam dunk safety in the middle of the first round. According to multiple sources, the labrum and hernia medical procedures Hooker just had will prevent him from participating in the NFL Combine and other lead-up events to the draft.

A cursory examination of draft prospect rankings over the last month or longer would tell you that many people have been targeting Malik Hooker to be a top ten kind of prospect. That doesn’t mean he goes in the top ten of course, as individual team needs at safety will dictate that to some extent, but for a team like the Redskins, he would check both the “best player available” box as well as the “team need” box.

You already hear some folks (Matt Miller from B/R for one) suggesting this medical news does nothing to change his standing as a top ten talent. My question today is whether or not this injury news moves you at all in terms of your support for him as our first round pick?

I don’t think there is necessarily a right or wrong answer here, as plenty of players that have starred in the league overcame college injuries and procedures. It more comes down to the gut feel in each fan, and to what extent we live in fear that our top choice in the upcoming draft will not be able to be a superstar for years to come. Josh Doctson, for example, would be one player some Redskins fans would point to as the source of their unease (although I personally was unaware of any major medical concerns surrounding Doctson prior to the draft—I also didn’t think he would fall out of the top fifteen). Malcolm Kelly also jumps to mind if we are going to have this conversation.

We have talked a lot about Malik Hooker on The Audible and the way he would both provide talent and satisfy need.

Are you scared off?