DaeSean Hamilton Scouting Report By Charlie Campbell
Tracks the ball well
Adjusts extremely well
Makes big plays downfield
Adept at finding soft spots in zone
Willing to go across the middle
Lacks elite height
Lacks elite speed
Not special after the catch
Summary: Penn State is one of the storied programs in the history of college football, so it tells the NFL something when a player like Hamilton has the school's all-time record for receptions. From his freshman season, Hamilton was a steady receiver for the Nittany Lions with reliable play and production. His skill set and consistency make him a safe value pick for the mid-rounds of the 2018 NFL Draft.
As a freshman, Hamilton was a good receiver for Christian Hackenberg, hauling in 82 passes for 899 yards and two touchdowns. In his sophomore (45-580-6) and junior (34-506-1) seasons, Hamilton chipped in production with an offense led by superstar tailback Saquon Barkley. Penn State also spread the ball around to other targets like wide receiver Chris Godwin and tight end Mike Gesicki. In 2017 once again, Barkley was the focal point of the offense, but Hamilton made a lot of clutch catches and big plays for the Penn State offense. Hamilton totaled 53 receptions for 857 yards and nine touchdowns as a senior. His strong play earned him an invitation to the East-West Shrine and then the Senior Bowl, where Hamilton was one of the most impressive receivers. In St. Petersburg and in Mobile, Hamilton surprised with his ability to get open via his route-running and quickness.
There is a lot to like about Hamilton as a contributor in the NFL. He is a polished receiver who is a good route-runner. With his quickness and routes, Hamilton is adept at separating to provide an open target for his quarterback. He is a smooth receiver who doesn't blow defenders away with blazing speed or bully them with huge size, but Hamilton is skilled to produce. That could be seen at the all-star games, where he used his route-running and quickness to consistently win his reps against the defensive backs.
Hamilton does a lot of the little things well. He doesn't take extra steps in his routes to help defensive backs or round off his cuts. He also tracks the ball well downfield and doesn't lose sight of it despite defenders coming down on him over the top. With late hands, Hamitlon plucks the ball out of the air and doesn't tip off defenders to get their hands up. Hamilton is not a burner, but he found ways to make plays downfield for Penn State. To go along with not being afraid of safeties coming downhill on him over the top, Hamilton also willingly goes across the middle and doesn't hesitate to leap despite big hits coming his direction. He was a tough receiver for Penn State, yet was durable throughout his collegiate career.
In the NFL, Hamilton could be a solid No. 2 receiver. His lack of a dominant trait of speed or size prohibits him from being a true No. 1, but Hamilton could be a really nice No. 2 receiver with the ability to line up on the outside or in the slot. In the 2018 NFL Draft, Hamilton looks like a third-rounder and a quality second-day pick.
Player Comparison: Emmanuel Sanders. Hamilton reminds me of a thicker version of Sanders. Both of them have subtle quickness with good route-running, hands and technique. Sanders was a third-round pick of the Steelers in the 2010 NFL Draft and has had a good career as a No. 2 receiver. I could see Hamilton following a similar path.
NFL Matches: Cleveland, San Francisco, Chicago, Denver, Washington, Arizona, Buffalo, Baltimore and Jacksonville
There are a lot of teams that could be in the market for a wide receiver upgrade in the 2018 NFL Draft. The Browns need more receiving talent for their offense. They can't count on Josh Gordon to stay on the field, and Corey Coleman hasn't panned out for them yet. With their second-round picks and third-rounder, the Browns could consider a receiver like Hamilton on Day 2 of the 2018 NFL Draft.
The Bears and 49ers both could use more pass-catching weapons for their offenses. Chicago badly needs more weapons for Mitch Trubisky, while Hamilton would be a nice fit for Kyle Shanahan across from Marquise Goodwin.
The Broncos, Redskins and Cardinals all could be in the market for a receiver upgrade. Denver could look for some young receiving talent. Washington signed Terrelle Pryor, but he is entering free agency after underwhelming with the Redskins. Arizona has to consider life after Larry Fitzgerald and could use more receiving talent around the future Hall of Famer.
In Florida, the Jaguars could target a receiver like Hamilton if Allen Robinson and Marqise Lee aren't re-signed.
The Bills and Ravens also are in the market for receiver help. Buffalo could acquire Hamilton to form a diverse trio with Kelvin Benjamin and Zay Jones. Baltimore badly needs more receiving talent for its offense. Hamilton would make a lot of sense for the Ravens on Day 2 of the 2018 NFL Draft.