Cleveland Browns: 7-Round NFL mock draft, the week before
Round 3, Pick 80: Amani Hooker, S, Iowa
Another popular pick for the Browns in most mocks has been safety, but that seemed to fall behind cornerback some after they landed Morgan Burnett in free agency. The former Green Bay Packer and Pittsburgh Steeler is a good option as a starting strong safety but his age means he’s a stop-gap solution.
If a player such as Taylor Rapp falls to them at No. 49 they should pull the trigger there, but that didn’t happen in this mock. Still, they need help at the position which leads to the selection of Amani Hooker at No. 80. Where the Iowa product can really help the Browns is with his ability to cover tight ends, which is something they’ve struggled with for some time.
"“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. He’s not twitchy, fast or fluid and has some limitations in man coverage; however, he has the size, instincts and ball skills to become a plus starter, but needs to find his perfect scheme fit.” — Lance Zierlein, NFL.com"
Hooker does have some athletic limitations but he understands how to play the position and with the right coaching can become a starter in the NFL.