NFL Hot Press: Some Teams Think Kyle Hamilton Should Play Linebacker

Some Teams Think Kyle Hamilton Should Play Linebacker

Updated Dec. 21, 2021
By Charlie Campbell. Follow Charlie on Twitter @draftcampbell.

Over recent years, the safety position has been devalued in NFL drafts, with many good college football players sliding because teams value defensive linemen and cornerbacks over safeties. The linebacker position has also been devalued, but one of the most high-profile prospects for the 2022 NFL Draft could fall into both categories. In speaking to a director of player personnel, their team believes Notre Dame safety Kyle Hamilton should play linebacker in the NFL.

“I like Hamilton. He’s big, fast and has ball skills,” said the director of player personnel. “I just don’t think his best position is safety. He is a little straight line and really doesn’t have safety instincts. All of his struggles are in space, which makes it a little difficult to be a great safety. He misses a lot of open-field tackles, and he isn’t great in man-to-man coverage.”

Hamilton is listed at 6-foot-4, 220 pounds, and many evaluators would consider Hamilton too tall for safety in the NFL. Taller defenders can lack twitch and have issues in coverage.

“He’s a tweener, sort of like Jeremy Chinn,” said the director. “Hamilton is probably best suited for linebacker truthfully. He could play Sam linebacker in a 4-3, and Sam typically has more coverage responsibilities.”

At Hamilton’s size, more teams and coaches could project him to playing linebacker as a pro. The position question will make Hamilton an even more interesting prospect for the 2022 NFL Draft.