Should the New York Jets even entertain Kyle Hamilton at No. 4?
One of the most controversial 2022 NFL draft topics revolves around the safety position. Could the New York Jets actually select another top 10 safety—after the Jamal Adams-led drama that proceeds them?
Many believe they could, simply due to Kyle Hamilton‘s unicorn-like prowess.
Fans and NFL draft pundits typically prefer to project premium positions as selections at the top of the NFL draft. Spots such as quarterback, edge rusher, cornerback and offensive tackle usually receive the bulk of the attention.
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But the Notre Dame standout sort of screws up the premium position thought.
The Jets most likely lost their chance at snagging the two top edge rushers, Oregon’s Kayvon Thibodeaux and Michigan’s Aidan Hutchinson. They simply accumulated too many wins to be slotted in the top two or three—where both Thibodeaux and Hutchinson are widely considered to be picked.
Things can change, of course, as a quarterback or an offensive lineman may rise, pushing one of the edge rushers down to No. 4, where the Jets are picking. But that’s the less likely scenario.
At No. 4, the Jets are looking at the top offensive linemen, in Alabama’s Evan Neal and NC State’s Ikem Ekwonu. Opinions on both widely vary.
Some say Neal is a lock as a top-five pick, whereas some think he is a tad overrated and may slide. Opinions on Ekwonu vary even more so, as some project him as a top-three pick while others have him being selected in the second half of the first round.
My own tape study will have my opinion much more solidified on these two prospects, but for now, they should be labeled as question marks for the Jets at No. 4.
The only other guy left is Hamilton, a safety, which is typically considered a less valuable position in the NFL.
Consider that both “less valuable” guard Quenton Nelson and tight end Kyle Pitts were slam dunk top 10 picks, seemingly holding their top 10 value well so far into their NFL careers.
If Kyle Hamilton is truly generational, would he be worth the fourth overall pick? If Hamilton can play high safety, low safety, linebacker, blitz, fill in the run game, man both tight ends and wide receivers, is he only a safety?
The answer is no if your coaching staff is boxing him into one defined role. But if Hamilton heads to the right situation with the right coaching staff, he should be used as a defensive chess piece, not just a safety.
In the end, the biggest question is this: Is Kyle Hamilton truly a generational player?
YouTube Breakdown and Podcast
Strengths and Weaknesses
- Size at 6-foot-4 and 200 pounds
- Versatility (can play in the box, as a blitzer, high safety, low safety and can play man coverage on any offensive threat)
- Ball skills
- Willing to bang
- Stacks blockers
- Block shedding
- Tackle radius
- Hard hitter
- Stays square in off-coverage
- Not afraid to use hands in coverage
- Smooth hips
- Always looking for work
- Leverage in off coverage
- Gets caught flat-footed in coverage
- Can get caught with eyes in the backfield while in coverage
- Breaks down too far from tackle target
- Trust athleticism too much
- Reaches for contact in coverage
- Can take poor and/or overaggressive pursuit angles to the ball carrier
- Has to be aware of angles he breaks down at
- Beat for more big plays, in both the pass and the run game then most realize
- Can be tighter with footwork
- Needs to be more aware of coverage threats and not just stare at QB
- Route anticipation