Chicago Bears: 5 free agent targets who could start in 2021

Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports /
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Chicago Bears, Malik Hooker
Chicago Bears – Syndication: Indianapolis /

Chicago Bears Free Agent Target: Malik Hooker, Safety, IND

Malik Hooker entered the NFL as a raw prospect, but showed in college he had the athletic traits and natural instincts to evolve into a great safety in the NFL. Unfortunately for him, he has yet to play a full season as his longest season was 14 games. The former first-round pick recently tore his Achilles and only played in two games last season.

Hooker was elite back in his second season in the league. In 2018, he played 14 games and Pro Football Focus (PFF) graded him as a 79.1. He followed it up with a solid season in 2019 playing in 13 games. He is best used as a deep safety in a ballhawk role as he racked up seven interceptions in only 36 games.

Hooker could be brought in to compete with Tashaun Gipson for the starting safety job alongside Jackson. Hooker could then be the third safety in some pass coverage formations that the Bears defense run. Having him in limited snaps could help him stay relatively healthy as he struggled with that in the past. Although the Bears’ safety group is already deep, Hooker would upgrade it even more.