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Darius Butler thought Malik Hooker was “the most talented player on the board” when Colts picked

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Indianapolis Colts v New York Jets Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

This offseason, the Colts re-signed Darius Butler to play safety and then later used their first round pick on another safety, Malik Hooker. So it would be easy for Butler to be upset with the pick or be slighted by it.

Instead, he was a fan of it because he thought Hooker was the best available player in the draft at the 15th overall pick.

“I’ve been around a long time, and I know teams are going to make the best pick that’s there,” Butler said. “And he was obviously, in my opinion, the most talented player on the board, especially defensively. We had issues last year and in years previous with turnovers, and that’s what he brings to the table. But as far as what it does with how I go about my business? It doesn’t change it. I still come to work every day with the same attitude and same mindset.”

That’s absolutely the right attitude and mindset for Butler to have, as he recognizes that it was a good pick for the Colts, he recognizes that Hooker was the best player available, and he is simply continuing to try to earn his spot. He said on Tuesday that his approach is like it normally is - to be one of the best eleven defenders on the team, whether that means he’ll be playing safety or nickel cornerback.

Butler will be looked to as one of the veteran leaders of the defense, and so it’s nice to see him have a fair and correct approach to the Colts drafting Hooker. And he’s right in saying that Hooker will certainly help in the turnover category, which should be a welcome change for Butler. Last year the Colts were tied for the second-fewest interceptions in the league with eight, and Butler himself accounted for three of them. With Hooker in the secondary now, hopefully it will take some of that pressure off of Butler to have to take the football away.

I don’t think either Butler or Hooker are in danger of not receiving much playing time in 2017, as both should play a prominent role in the defense next year (especially if Clayton Geathers isn’t back right away). And instead of being upset that the Colts drafted a player at his position, Butler realizes that it makes the defense overall better, so he’s a fan of it.