Kyle Hamilton isn't just the top safety prospect in the 2022 NFL Draft, he's Athlon's No. 1 overall player. Long, rangy, instinctive and athletic, Hamilton was used in a variety of roles at Notre Dame and thrived. Even though a slower-than-expected 40 time at the Scouting Combine raised some eyebrows, that's probably more a reflection of how high a bar Hamilton had set for himself going into the event rather than how he's viewed as a prospect. He won't go No. 1 overall, but if he lasts past the first 10 picks it will be a surprise.
(This profile is one of 230 featured in the Athlon Sports 2022 NFL Draft Guide. With in-depth scouting reports on the top prospects, position rankings, and more, no source will have you better prepared for draft day. Purchase a copy online today, the digital edition for instant access, or look for it on newsstands everywhere.)
Kyle Hamilton Draft Profile
College: Notre Dame
A long and almost unbelievably rangy weapon, Hamilton was used in a variety of ways and was effective in every role from linebacker to single-high safety. The amount of ground he covers is simply incredible thanks to a combination of fluid athleticism, explosive speed, efficient motor and outstanding instincts when diagnosing the action. He’ll be lined up in a two-deep look outside the hash on the boundary side of the field and tackle the catch on the opposite sideline. He can cover the necessary ground in Cover-3 looks. He can also line up deep and still come downhill and run the alley as a run defender; he’s nearly unblockable for tight ends. His pursuit angles are always sound, and his length gives him a large tackling radius. He also delivers the necessary pop when he arrives at the ball; he can handle big power backs, and he has a highlight reel full of moments where he separates the man from the ball at the catch point. He can play over the slot and could probably handle snaps as a boundary corner against many receivers if necessary.
On the field, Hamilton has few if any weaknesses. Medicals are a factor; he missed time with a knee injury last year.
We’ve seen issues with other “positionless” players, most notably Cardinals linebacker Isaiah Simmons, but Hamilton has true defensive back range and, unlike Simmons, more than enough physicality for his position. Hamilton will be a quality player regardless of his usage, but the right defensive coordinator could unlock something special.
Final Grade: Top-10 Pick