2022 NFL Draft Prospects: Kyle Hamilton

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SOUTH BEND, IN - NOVEMBER 23: Kyle Hamilton #14 of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish lines up on defense during a game against the Boston College Eagles at Notre Dame Stadium on November 23, 2019 in South Bend, Indiana. Notre Dame defeated Boston College 40-7. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

It’s been an awesome college football season thus far with bowl games right around the corner, but as some players have already declared for the draft and opted to forego their bowl games as this one has, it’s time to dive into the tape. This is my first final scouting report for the 2022 NFL Draft and I introduce you to Notre Dame’s 6’4″ 219 lb. safety Kyle Hamilton. Hamilton was named First-Team All-ACC in 2020 and profiles as a potential top ten selection in April. Let’s get into the film room!

Positives: Hamilton is the physical and athletic prototype at the safety position, possessing great size, tremendous length, and top-level speed. His speed gives him great range to cover the field sideline to sideline against both the passing game and the run game. He comes away with interceptions and tackles that other safeties would not be able to get because of how quickly he can cover ground and close to the ball. Hamilton can turn what appears to be single coverage to the quarterback into double coverage in the blink of an eye in this way. He has a decisive downhill trigger in the run game, and his burst allows him to react just as quickly as he reads. Hamilton often beats running backs in foot-races and takes good paths to the football. He is an exceptional tackler, demonstrating outstanding technique and very rarely missing a tackle for coming in too aggressively. Hamilton has real man coverage value in the slot. Despite his size, he has the fluidity and quickness to flip his hips and stay in phase with running backs a good portion of the time, and he can certainly hold up against big tight ends. He uses his size and strength to his advantage against smaller receivers, disrupting their route with his physicality. Even when he loses a step or two to the receiver, his length often allows him to recover when the ball is in the air. Hamilton’s elite length is a significant asset in several phases of the game, since it allows him to make tackles and break up passes that other safeties would not. Hamilton’s burst makes him very dangerous as a free blitzer. 

Negatives: Hamilton could be more urgent and willing against the run. It isn’t necessarily a weakness, but there are instances where he lets teammates do the work in traffic rather than sticking his nose in to make sure the ball carrier is brought down as soon as possible. While Hamilton is elite in man coverage for a safety, and especially for his size, he shouldn’t be placed on an island against smaller, quicker guys too often, since, despite his physicality, athletic traits, and length, there are times where he gets beat in these situations. Hamilton was rarely used as a blitzer, so while he has the athletic profile to have an impact in that phase of the game, he will have to be coached into it. 

Bottom Line: Hamilton is one of the safest prospects I’ve watched in my time scouting NFL Draft prospects. He has all the tools to become an elite safety at the next level and no serious weaknesses. Hamilton’s size, range, and length are truly rare, and he will thrive on the back end in the NFL, both against the run and the pass. His man coverage ability is an added bonus as well. Hamilton is a top ten talent in my eyes who has an All-Pro future ahead of him. 

At Bold Take Scouting, we will be publishing scouting reports like these every week up to the draft, so make sure to follow us on Instagram @boldtakescouting. Additionally, our podcasts will be filled with NFL Draft content, starting next Tuesday at 7:30 pm ET, live on our YouTube, with our breakdown and rankings of the top wide receivers in the 2022 NFL Draft. Enjoy!

Sources

  1. Cover Image: https://slapthesign.com/2021/12/11/notre-dame-football-kyle-hamilton-fall-no18-overall/

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