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Former Iowa safety Amani Hooker details the skills he showed in college that NFL teams also covet. Mark Emmert, memmert@gannett.com

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Amani Hooker's versatility put him on the map. Now, it's getting him paid. 

The Tennessee Titans selected the former Iowa defensive back Saturday on the NFL Draft's third day. Hooker is the fourth Hawkeye chosen after T.J. Hockenson and Noah Fant were picked Thursday and Anthony Nelson went earlier Saturday.

Hooker turned heads in 2018 when he slid into Iowa's new "cash" or "star" position, a safety/linebacker hybrid that was a perfect fit. After racking up 65 tackles, 3.5 TFLs and four interceptions, Hooker was named the Big Ten Conference's defensive back of the year. 

At 5-foot-11 and 210 pounds, Hooker displayed last season that he can handle things 5-6 yards from the line of scrimmage instead of the 12-15 yards deep safeties usually play. 

That tape boosted his stock tremendously. 

“You’ve got to be able to think fast. You can’t be just out there playing and using your athletic ability,” Hooker said last month. “There could be a tight end coming at you. You need to get off the block. Or it could be a 5-10, 180-pound receiver that can fly."

Hooker's projections were mostly for some time during the second day. That didn't happen, but Tennessee wasted little time once Saturday rolled around.  

Dargan Southard covers Iowa and UNI athletics, recruiting and preps for the Des Moines Register, HawkCentral.com and the Iowa City Press-Citizen. Email him at msouthard@gannett.com or follow him on Twitter at @Dargan_Southard.

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