Kyle Hamilton, New York Jets, Notre Dame, 2022 NFL draft, Blewett's Blitz
Kyle Hamilton, New York Jets, Notre Dame, 2022 NFL draft, Blewett's Blitz, Jet X Graphic, Getty Images

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.

The full Jet X member-only video is near the bottom of this page and can also be seen on the Blewett's Blitz homepage (if you're a paid member and logged in).

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

Strengths

  • 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)
  • Length
  • Speed
  • Acceleration
  • Explosion
  • Range
  • Ball skills
  • Patient
  • Willing to bang
  • Stacks blockers
  • Block shedding
  • Effort
  • Tackle radius
  • Hard hitter
  • Flexibility
  • Stays square in off-coverage
  • Not afraid to use hands in coverage
  • Smooth hips
  • Always looking for work

Weaknesses

  • 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

Full (Member-Only) Film Breakdown


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You may know Joe Blewett from his wildly-popular film breakdowns and podcasts on websites including Turn on the Jets and Jet Nation. His ability to analyze film is second to none. From a player on the field in high school (FS/CB/WR/RB) to working with former NFL players including Marcus Coleman and Erik McMillan, as well as many hours of studying, Joe brings a rare level of expertise to his content. Joe is currently hosting Blewett’s Blitz, bringing player and game film breakdowns and podcasts (video and audio). Email: joe.blewett[at]jetsxfactor.com
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Peter Buell
Peter Buell
8 months ago

Until this week I thought Hamilton was a no brainer. With the past weeks additions, notably DJ Reed and Hutchinson I’m wondering if safety is as much a need now despite his unicorn talents.
The Jets due to Saleh and Douglass are no longer a last resort.
They signed the 2nd and 6th rated safeties and arguably the top tight end and a very good TE2 despite offers from other teams.
I wish we knew more about Mike White. Really other teams about Mike White. I would have given him the 3rd game they gave Flacco.
Had he performed close to the Cincinatti game a package of Qhite and Mims might bring back a good OG or 2nd round pick
I digress, but if weblose that game we are picking 2nd and Hutchinson is exactly who we need.
..If you agree we are good enough at safety to.pass on Hamilton would it be worth pick #35 and 69 to move up if Hutch isn’t picked 1st.

Azuma76
Azuma76
8 months ago

Im big on Sauce Gardner and would take him at 4, dont think he will be there at 10. Hamilton is not what we need after free agency came and gone. Gardner has not allowed a td in 3 seasons and paired with DJ Reed would be awesome! At 10 I would go edge rusher or trade that pick either trade back or trade for DK Metcalf with that pick. So we would help both sides of the ball with a ballhawk in Sauce and all pro numbers with Reed and if traded for Metcalf then Zach Wilson numbers would surely rise I think to an elite QB1.

WorthlessWoody
WorthlessWoody
8 months ago

No to Hamilton. He’s a safety and taking him at 4 doesn’t make him Sean Taylor. It’s a highly risky play at a low reward position. He’s a nice prospect and might become a stud safety. But why bother when you can just as easily buy a Bates or Williams in FA?

Thibs? Have been underwhelmed by him since he started being hyped. Something is missing with the kid. Hard to understand how you can have that amount of physical talent and not be “special” on tape.

Sauce or Stingley? No. Stingley has disappointed since coming off his rookie year. And he gets injured and misses time. Sauce is a king sized prospect but he’s just not a top 10 pick. Sorry.

Right now…I think I want one of Aidan, Neal, Cross, Ikem at 4.

At 10, include David London, Trayvon Burks, Jermaine Johnson, and if not them I’d rather reach for Penning, Cameron Thomas or give Jameson Williams a redshirt year than take another one of the sub 6’2 WRs or C or G or DT or DB.

hh11212
hh11212
9 months ago

I love you Joe but I think you are missing the fact he will be 21 and has only played what equals to one and two half seasons of college football because of Covid 2020 and injury 2021. Once he plays more football I think you are getting an outstanding player.
You have said more than once why should I believe he will get better? The easy answer is he is basically a soph. in college. I would love him and Sauce in round 1

Psi
Psi
9 months ago

I saw a bit of film on Hamilton and came away very impressed. I still need to do a deep dive to draw conclusions. I will say I watched 4 games of Thibedeaux yesterday and I was not impressed for a supposed top 5 player. Decent player, yes, can he develop sure (depending in his head), but slam dunk #4 pick…no way. I’ve seen a bit of Ekonwu as well and I’m not yet sold on him. So far Hamilton and London has impressed me the most, with more evaluation of both to do.

Jets71
Jets71
9 months ago
Reply to  Psi

I do not want Thibodeaux. I saw what you saw, he’s soft. I don’t want a safety that high. I do like London, not sure about his separation ability, we will see more. I’m leaning Wilson a this point. I like Zion Johnson a lot (that was before the senior bowl), obviously not that high. What I do know especially after watching tonight and throughout the playoffs is they need offense. Ramsey got roasted again, and he’s the best CB in the league. I know there was a missed penalty but that only proves my point, the game favors offense. They should be picking offensive players at 4 and 10. Also one of the second round picks should be offense too. The defense can wait. Zach first the D later.

Psi
Psi
9 months ago
Reply to  Jets71

London’s route running is underrated because of his stature. I saw him play out of the slot multiple times in the USC offense. For me it comes down to what’s between the ears as it should with all players. I like Zion Johnson also. Tibbs clearly has talent…but his motor as shown in all 4 of the games I watched seems hot and lukewarm (not cold). Free Agency will dictate what we do in the draft as it should. If a defensive player is best on their board at 4 that’s where you should go. So far, the best I’ve seen is Kyle Hamilton.

verge tibbs
verge tibbs
9 months ago

Appreciate the film breakdown as always. After seeing how bad the jets were in the run game and how bad at Safety, the last thing they need is a Safety out there playing the wrong leverages on receivers and taking bad angles on runners, trying to be superman. Imo. Sure its all fixable but i think you’d rather a much cleaner player at such a high pick.

Jets71
Jets71
9 months ago

Pass on the Safety in the top 10. Even if the player is everything you hope at draft time, the problem comes in the second contract. Safeties may be more valuable in Saleh’s system but it’s impossible to give a safety $18m a year then sign a QB, OT, WR, and DE. That’s assuming they don’t value or need a top CB. It’s just not good team building. Also, please, please, please can we stop using the word “generational” as a adjective to describe players. It’s a joke. Trevor Lawrence didn’t look all that “generational” last season, and so what does that make Mahomes? For all intents and purposes they are the same generation. The purpose of using the word generational is to mean the player is the type of player that comes around once in a generation, so there can’t be two at the same time. It’s just too much media sensationalism. Then we hear things like the last “generational QB” was Andrew Luck. REALLY? Generational? Andrew Luck’s career completion percentage was 60.8%. Sam Darnold’s is 59.8%. We need to stop taking the ESPNquirer bait like lemmings. Sure, Hamilton may be a top prospect and for all I know he may become the best safety to ever play the game, but I don’t know one team that has won a super bowl because they had the best safety. This age of football requires and favors the offense. The Jets need, WR, OL, TE in the top 4 picks of this draft. Everything is about Zach. Him first then the D.

Bruno
Bruno
9 months ago

Free agency will determine who goes at 4, personally hoping all the rumors keep happening and Thibodeaux falls to us

Jets71
Jets71
9 months ago
Reply to  Bruno

I didn’t like Thibodeaux. I have seen several games, and honestly he came up small in big spots. Also, he’s terrible against the run. I’d pass on him. Just me. We all have our favorites.

Jimjets
Jimjets
9 months ago

Everything depends on FA. If we take Hamilton at 4 Jermaine Jackson the pass rusher at 10 and then OL TE in the 2nd and WR in the 3rd I’d like that.