Kyle Hamilton’s reeling draft stock shouldn’t affect Falcons

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The Falcons’ safety room isn’t the most pressing need, especially if Richie Grant and Jaylinn Hawkins step up and take the starting positions. With Erik Harris and Dean Marlowe as veteran depth pieces, safety is in decent standing for the 2022 season. However, Terry Fontenot has stated multiple times that the Falcons won’t be afraid to add to a position of strength — if the safety group can even be considered that.

One prospect that would really change the landscape of the secondary in Atlanta is Kyle Hamilton, who has recently taken some flack regarding his measurables — namely, his slow 40-yard dash time. Some analysts have gone as far as claiming the Notre Dame product won’t be a top ten pick in April’s draft.

For me, the 40 doesn’t change much of anything. Hamilton’s speed shows up in different facets of the game on film; his reeling draft stock shouldn’t affect the Falcons’ approach to the draft.

Hamilton is one of the best prospects in this class, regardless of position. His intangibles also make him highly desirable for a rebuilding team like the Falcons, who are in desperate need of leaders. Atlanta could do much worse with their 8th pick than Hamilton, who I’ve dubbed to be this draft cycle’s Kyle Pitts.

Now, during the 2022 draft cycle, a prospect is garnering a similar analysis. Pitts’ positional value is what had many people questioning the Falcons taking the tight end with the 4th overall pick. This year it is Kyle Hamilton, a safety prospect out of Notre Dame. And I’m here to tell you that it doesn’t matter.

Hamilton is arguably the best non-quarterback prospect of the class. There are a few prospects like Aidan Hutchinson, Kayvon Thibodeaux, and some offensive tackles that rival Hamilton, but I see the Notre Dame product as the best of them. Hutchinson’s position is a premium, so Hamilton will never be graded higher than him. However, he is much more than a traditional safety.

Hamilton is similar to Derwin James in that he’s incredibly versatile. He has ideal size, excellent closing speed, and a high football IQ. Hamilton played all over the Irish defense in 2021, lining up deep in coverage, in the slot, and in the box as a linebacker. He can cover tight ends while also supporting the run with the best of them.

Hamilton might not post the same eye-popping numbers as Pitts did during their respective combines; after all, the Notre Dame product did reportedly run a slower-than-ideal 40-yard dash. But it doesn’t matter to me.

Pitts is a swiss army knife on offense, and Hamilton is the same on defense. Both prospects’ positions are naturally undervalued but don’t kid yourself. Hamilton would be a home-run pick if he fell to Atlanta, so I’m confused seeing Falcons fans upset over the prospect of Fontenot selecting him 8th overall. Don’t overthink this one.

I wouldn’t be too up in arms about the pick if the Falcons pass on Hamilton for a prospect like Evan Neal, Ikem Ekwonu, Charles Cross, or Kayvon Thibodeaux. However, I might combust if Atlanta passes on Hamilton for a quarterback.

Photographer: Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire

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