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Kyle Hamilton could be the Commanders’ perfect Buffalo Nickel

Kyle Hamilton Draft Profile

NCAA Football: Notre Dame at Florida State Melina Myers-USA TODAY Sports
NCAA Football: Notre Dame at Stanford Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

Kyle Hamilton. Safety

School: Notre Dame Conference: Independent

College Experience: Junior Age: 21

Height/Weight: 6’4”/220 Lbs

Projected Draft Status: First Round

Player Comp: Derwin James/Justin Simmons

Player Overview:

Kyle Hamilton is a well-traveled prospect. The son of a professional basketball player, he was born in Greece and spent time in Russia as well. He eventually grew up in Georgia where he finished his high school career with a spot in the 2019 All-American Bowl. He was a top recruit in the 2019 class for the Fighting Irish.

Hamilton started his collegiate career off with a bang, finishing with four interceptions including one returned for a touchdown. He was only one of four freshmen to record at least four interceptions during the 2019 season. He did that despite only starting one game. In 2020, he was a third-team AP All-American finishing with 63 tackles and one interception. In 2021, he was a second-team AP All-American finishing with 34 tackles and three interceptions. In all, he finished his career in South Bend with 138 Tackles and eight interceptions.

Strengths:

  • Versatility: Can play single-high safety, in the box, in the slot, can even cover on the outside a little as well
  • Delivers the blow, if you come across the middle he will make you feel it
  • Range, can play sideline-to-sideline. Can cover both halves of the field. Very centerfielder like
  • Smart, intelligent player. He knows where his assignment is and is rarely out of position on a play
  • Elite Ball Skills, he plays the ball in the air aggressively and like a Wide Receiver
  • His length allows him to make plays others can’t. A very unique build for a safety
  • His long arms allow him to press at the line and make a play on the ball even if the receiver has a step on him
  • His instincts are very pure. He can diagnose and process a play extremely quick for the safety position

Weaknesses:

  • Needs to improve his open field tackling. Understand leverage and angles a little better
  • 4.59 forty at the Combine impacted his stock. Shows good speed on tape though
  • His eyes get caught looking in the back field at times when in man coverage leading to poor technique
  • Fluid movements, it’s natural due to his size but he can be a little stiff at times

How he fits:

The Commanders could use a difference-maker in the secondary. That is exactly what Kyle Hamilton can be. A pairing of Hamilton and third-year standout Kam Curl could become one of the best young safety duos in the league. He should be on the field from day one. The team would be able to put him in a variety of spots. He could start at Free Safety, overtaking Bobby McCain. Allowing McCain to play some in the slot. A position he had success at in Miami. Hamilton could also thrive in the Buffalo Nickel role once occupied by Landon Collins.

Washington wants a big, hard hitting, and intelligent presence in that role and that describes Hamilton to perfection. I could see him filling that role next year before taking over the Free safety slot in 2023 or further down the line. I cannot stress enough that he is not the late, great Sean Taylor, no one ever will be, but he would be the most talented safety this franchise has had since Taylor. Pairing Hamilton with the talented front four would make for a special young defensive nucleus.