DB Kyle Hamilton, Notre Dame*

6’4” – 220 lbs.

Background:

Started one of thirteen games he appeared in as a freshman, but played heavily and picked up 41 tackles, four interceptions (one touchdown), and six passes defensed. Over eleven games as a sophomore, totaled 63 tackles, one interception, and six breakups, then put together 34 tackles, three interceptions, and four breakups over seven games this past season before declaring.

Positives:

Has been a major contributor for the past three years. Has an outstanding combination of height and bulk. Was asked to play all over; predominantly as a traditional safety (single high and cover-two), but also down in the slot, in the box, shaded over a receiver high, etc. Clean footwork and solid balance when backpedaling; transitions smoothly from his backpedal to drive on spots. Solid speed and excellent explosiveness make him one of the rangier safeties in recent memory. Has no trouble staying over the top of post routes or helping defend down the sidelines. Diagnoses well and trusts his instincts/reads. Excellent closing burst from zone. Able to disrupt timing at the route stem with his length. On-ball production was very good, owing to his insane length/leaping ability. Pretty good open-field tackler who is willing to come up and flashes the ability to break down in the open field; teams who value aggression and physicality are going to love the temperament he brings. Can come up and make tackles in the screen/run game from cover-one or cover-two. Works through traffic well when flowing to the ball. Offers a very wide tackling radius.

Negatives:

Angles can be too aggressive, leading to missed opportunities to make a tackle. Comes in too hot at times. Some plays in which he relies on his athleticism to save him. Could squeeze breaking routes over the middle more closely. Didn’t see him working on man coverage too often against opposing receivers/tight ends, although he has the type of skillset for that role. Sustained a knee injury that caused him to miss six weeks of the season this past year to conclude his collegiate career.

Summary:

Offers one of the rarest combinations of size, length, and range in memory, with the ability to patrol deep zones as a single-high safety and to get out to the boundary to help defend passes down the sidelines. Combines that range with the ability to shade over slot receivers or come up and make tackles in the run game, traits which are expected to make him an early selection in this year’s draft.

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