Titans trade up to take safety Amani Hooker

Titans trade up to take safety Amani Hooker

The Tennessee Titans traded up in the fourth round five picks to select Iowa safety Amani Hooker with pick No. 116.
Tennessee sent picks Nos. 121 and 157 (fifth round) to the New York Jets, and the Titans received New York’s fifth-rounder as well at No. 168.
Hooker, who was one of the Titans 30 pre-draft visitors, provides depth at safety behind Kevin Byard and Kenny Vaccaro, The only backup with any measurable experience on the roster is second-year pro Dane Cruikshank.
Hooker has the versatility that the Titans like as well, as he can play as a bigger nickel and also has the ability to return punts. Per a league source, Hooker was scheduled to be the Hawkeyes’ punt returner this season had he returned for his senior season at Iowa. The Titans struggled on punt returns last season with Adoree’ Jackson looking indecisive at times.
Hooker, 5-11, 210, was the Defensive Back of the Year in the Big Ten and was a second-team All-America selection by both Associate Press and USA Today.
Hooker had four interceptions, seven pass break-ups and 65 tackles last season for Iowa.
The safety is said to be able to cover tight ends well, and got to do plenty of that in Hawkeyes’ practices against the likes of George Kittle, T.J. Hockenson and Noah Fant.
“Ever since my first year I started going against George Kittle, and then me and T.J. Hockenson and Noah Fant are all in the same grade, so I did three years straight of guarding what would already be the best tight end in the NFL and the best two tight ends in this draft,” Hooker said. “I think I’m really good at guarding them. They set the standard for tight ends. Every time I go against them in practice, it was a battle and hopefully I do the same for them. They definitely prepared me for going against tight ends as well.”
Hooker said the Titans are getting a player who will work hard and stay out of trouble.
“They are getting a playmaker, a baller, a student of the game, a guy you don’t have to worry about off the field. I’m going to come into work every day, no complaining. It’s a business now and I’m ready to take it on and win some championships and Super Bowls,” Hooker said.

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