Notre Dame safety Kyle Hamilton entered the 2021 season as the consensus top safety prospect and a future first-round pick. Thus far, he has lived up to the hype, producing a two-interception game against Florida State and now another impressive tape in Week 3 against Purdue.
Hamilton made his presence felt in the early going of the afternoon with some tackles in the run game and a leaping pass breakup. At the end of the first quarter, Purdue went for it on fourth-and-1 with a stretch run. Hamilton came downhill in blur to make a tackle for a loss and get his defense off the field. It was a tremendous play on which Hamilton came from about 15 yards downfield, and it displayed his phenomenal speed. To close out the win, Hamilton was in good position at the back of the end zone to catch a tipped pass for a game-clinching interception.
Throughout the day, Hamilton flew around the field, making tackles in run support and covering up receivers downfield. In the third quarter, Hamilton again flew to the flat to snuff out a short pass for a little gain. He clearly has a different caliber of speed and athleticism than the rest of the players on the field. Hamilton recorded 10 tackles and two passes defended against the Boilermakers.
Hamilton is a well-rounded safety who can play free or strong safety, is able to handle some man coverage, and has ball skills. Hamilton could be an impactful starter early on in his NFL career. He looks like he is on track to be a pick in the top half of the first round next April in the 2022 NFL Draft.
Purdue defensive end George Karlaftis was taking on a revamped Notre Dame offensive line that struggled against Florida State edge rusher Jermaine Johnson to open the season. Karlaftis had some good moments, but he was not as impactful as Johnson was a few weeks ago.
Karlaftis made a nice play early in the second quarter when he swam past the right tackle to notch a tackle for a loss in run support. Karlaftis was effective getting off blocks and making his presence felt. He used a bull rush to go through the right tackle to combine with a teammate for a sack. Karlaftis should have drawn some holding calls, but the officials were incompetent. Just before halftime, Karlaftis used an excellent spin move against the right guard, and Notre Dame quarterback Jack Coan was just barely able to avoid the hands of Karlaftis while scrambling away. Early in the fourth quarter, Karlaftis helped create a sack by bulling the Fighting Irish left tackle into the quarterback and taking away Coan's ability to escape from the other Purdue defensive end.
Karlaftis recorded two tackles, .5 sacks and 1.5 tackles for a loss against Notre Dame. He also had quarterback hits and pressures. Karlaftis showed strength to bull rush through offensive linemen, the speed to get around them, and stoutness in the ground game. This was a very good tape that will help his draft grade.