It can be hit and miss in the NFL Draft with nothing guaranteed.
Sometimes, even the most promising players to come out of college don’t work out in the NFL.
Luckily for the Indianapolis Colts, they have been fortunate to have some of these college prospects perform at an elite level in the NFL.
According to Pro Football Focus, Hooker and Nelson — the Colts’ first-round picks in 2017 and 2018, are two of the best players they have ever scouted coming out of college.
They named both of them to the “All-PFF Era NFL Prospect Team.”
.@PFF began grading college players in 2014. Since that time, two now-Colts players — Quenton Nelson and Malik Hooker — remain among the best prospects ever evaluated.@JakeArthurNFL with more on the recent “All-PFF Era NFL Prospect Team” selections:https://t.co/q3j84dgNAF
— Andrew Walker (@AWalkerColts) February 18, 2020
Here’s what PFF said:
“We started grading college football players for the first time in 2014 and have seen countless All-Pros enter the league in that span. These are the players that at the time we thought would be All-Pros based on their college performance. These are the best prospects we’ve graded at each position over the past six years.”
Here’s what PFF said about Nelson and Hooker in their evaluation:
Quenton Nelson, Notre Dame; Isaiah Wynn, Georgia
Both top players are from the 2018 draft and both had crazy grading profiles. Nelson’s 2017 is still unlike any other season we’ve graded with a 90.9 pass-blocking grade and 92.0 run-blocking grade. Wynn was a guard his first three seasons at Georgia before moving to left tackle as a senior where he earned a 91.3 overall grade.
Malik Hooker, OSU
Honorable mention: Grant Delpit, LSU
Hooker’s highlight reel from back in 2016 was a sight to behold. While it may well have overhyped him in our eyes as he still had a small sample size with only one years as a starter, Hooker consistently displayed freaky range. He picked off seven passes that season and earned a 91.5 coverage grade. He’s been solid as a pro, but hasn’t quite been the playmaker he was in college.
Quenton Nelson was considered a generational talent coming out of college.
Pro Football Focus ranked him No.1 in the nation in run-block success percentage. His film didn’t lie and showed just how dominate he was with smooth technique and leverage.
You couldn’t block with better technique than Nelson here. Get off, leverage, hat/hands/hips and finish. Its 🔥 pic.twitter.com/uW3k63ERFN
— Geoff Schwartz (@geoffschwartz) February 26, 2018
Many draft experts had him ranked among the best players in the entire draft.
How about this for awareness from Notre Dame OG Quenton Nelson?! One of 5 best players in this draft. pic.twitter.com/jrXlipnyZw
— Todd McShay (@McShay13) February 9, 2018
Mailk Hooker was a standout at Ohio State and was named a first-team All-American.
When he entered the NFL draft, NFL.com draft analyst Daniel Jeremiah compared Hooker’s skill set to Ed Reed.
“He has the best combination of range and ball skills that I’ve ever seen in a college safety. His anticipation and awareness is off the charts. I wasn’t in Baltimore when Ed Reed was drafted, but I arrived the following year to scout for the Ravens and spent four years around the future Hall of Famer. Hooker is the closest thing I’ve seen to Reed seen since I’ve been scouting.”
Malik Hooker one handed interception from week 1 pic.twitter.com/o9t2hOSqSe
— Heart of NFL (@HeartofNFL) February 13, 2020