2022 NFL Draft: Kyle Hamilton Scouting Report

Kyle Hamilton NFL Draft

Kyle Hamilton NFL Draft Overview

Position: Safety

Height: 6’4″

Weight: 220lb

School: Notre Dame Fighting Irish

Kyle Hamilton 2022 NFL Draft Profile

Kyle Hamilton comes from an athletic background. Born in Greece while his father played professional basketball over there, the family soon returned to The United States after his father retired. Settling in Atlanta, Georgia, it was there that Hamilton began his ascendency to the very top of this year’s draft class.

A highly-ranked player nationally coming out of high school, Hamilton headed north to Indiana, declaring for Notre Dame and the Fighting Irish. As a rookie, Hamilton may have only started one game, but the young star featured in all 13 games and notched four interceptions; Hamilton averaged around 35 snaps per reception allowed, which ranked second among all freshmen in FBS.

As a sophomore, Hamilton elevated his game. He diversified his play style and developed into a more complete player, which was reflected statistically. A natural talent in deep-field coverage was soon complemented by a proficiency in the run game, allowing Hamilton to be a true three-down player, and a force anywhere on the field. Against Travis Ettiene and the Clemson Tigers, this development was startlingly evident, with Hamilton posting an impressive 79.2 PFF run-defense grade.

After attracting First-Team accolades as a sophomore, Hamilton continued on a trajectory to superstardom. Drawing national acclaim as a junior, he finished highly in voting for both the Nagurski and Thorpe Awards, as well as receiving another spread of First-Team nods. After the season, Hamilton opted to skip the Fiesta Bowl, instead declaring his intention to enter the 2022 NFL Draft.

Strengths:

  • Elite play recognition in the box;
  • Excellent pursuit speed;
  • Patient in pursuit – doesn’t commit prematurely;
  • Elite range – can align closer to LOS;
  • Comfortable playing quarterback’s eyes;
  • Really good hit power in pass breakups;
  • Cornerback skills – versatile on the outside;
  • Ability to play center field in the red zone;
  • Active hands on tipped passes;
  • Exceptional length and athletic ability;
  • Size makes him a blitz threat;
  • Decisive against the run;
  • Focused eyes versus motion;
  • A ridiculous instinct for the ball;
  • Excellent in transition from vertical to lateral;
  • Tackles into the core of the ball carrier.

Weaknesses:

  • Attacks underneath blocks in the run game often – gives up contain;
  • Plays the best heads-up on the quarterback;
  • An almost excessively ball-focused approach in coverage.

NFL Comparison: Derwin James

Teams With Need At Position: Atlanta Falcons, Chicago Bears, Dallas Cowboys, Denver Broncos, Houston Texans, Minnesota Vikings, New England Patriots, New Orleans Saints, New York Giants, Philadelphia Eagles, Pittsburgh Steelers, San Francisco 49ers.

Projection: Top 10 Pick

Bottom Line on Kyle Hamilton

Forget the NFL’s weird aversion to drafting safeties high in the first round, because Kyle Hamilton is an absolute stud. He’s a complete safety, and might genuinely be the best defensive player in this year’s draft class. He’s a true three-down player at the NFL level, such is the range of his talent against both the run and the pass, and has an almost-unmatched physical profile that can dominate in the pros. Honestly, Derwin James is only the closest comparison, largely for his ability to be effective anywhere on the field, but, in truth, no defensive back in the NFL currently has this skillset and athletic ability with that size.

There isn’t a team in the NFL that wouldn’t benefit from having this kid on their team, because his versatility would allow him to be plugged into any pro system and thrive. He’s capable of playing both safety spots, or in a single-high safety look, so Hamilton is a schematic dream. A scheme that deploys a tonne of single-high safety, with either man coverage underneath or a Cover-3 look, so Hamilton’s range could be best utilized would be an excellent fit. However, using him in a tandem, allowing somewhat of a freer role in terms of alignment, would exhibit Hamilton’s heat-seeking ability against both the run and the pass, which might well be the very best asset for a player with an almost limitless arsenal of talent.

If not for the NFL’s bias against safeties, Hamilton would be a lock for a top five selection. Still, it would be the shock of the draft if Hamilton went outside the Top-10.

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