Hamilton ran the 40-yard dash in 4.59 seconds at the scouting combine and then ran it in 4.7 and 4.74 at Notre Dame’s Pro Day. He visited the Falcons last week along with Michigan defensive lineman Chris Hinton.
The Falcons have the eighth pick in the draft, but probably wouldn’t take a safety that early. Washington or the Jets at 10 could be landing spots for Hamilton.
“That’s exactly what they’re looking for, that kind of player,” Kiper said of Washington and the Hamilton rank. “He’s unique and rare. Had he run better, he would have been the second to fourth pick in the draft. Some people think he was the best player in the draft prior to that. So at 11, he would be a great pick for Washington. ”
Michigan’s Daxton Hill is also considered a potential first-round pick.
“I’ve always liked Daxton Hill,” Kiper said. “Here’s a guy who did everything at Michigan. He can play slot corner. He can play center field. He tackles so well. He can get after the quarterback. He intercepts passes. ”
Hill was a five-star recruit coming out of high school as the No. 1 safety in the nation.
“He’s perfect for the way the game is played today,” Kipper said.
Hill doesn’t figure to last much longer after Hamilton is selected.
“You can make a case, for just defensive backs overall, if you say no. Sauce Gardner, No. 1 2 it’s either Kyle Hamilton or (cornerback) Derek Stingley Jr. You can put Daxton Hill next, with (Washington cornerback) Trent McDuffie right there as well, ”Kiper said.
Former Georgia safety Lewis Cine, Penn State’s Jaquan Brisker and Baylor’s Jalen Pitre are also highly regarded safety prospects.
“I have him going late in the first,” the tipper said of Cine. “The safety position didn’t look good until we (reached) the middle of the season. Some of these guys, when you look back at their body of work, they’ve played above and beyond what I thought. “
Cine has benefited from a strong pre-draft season.
“He doesn’t have the limitations that I see in some others,” said SiriusXM NFL radio analyst Pat Kirwan, a former NFL executive. “At 6-2 and a quarter and 200 pounds, the guy ran sub 4.4 (in the 40-yard dash) multiple times. His long jump, standing broad jump was over 11 feet. His vertical is over 36 inches, so when he goes up to climb the ladder on a deep post, he fast enough. In the deep middle, he can get to the boundaries on both sides. ”
Jim Miller, a former quarterback and analyst with Kirwan on SiriusXM NFL radio, also has studied the safety class.
“I like Cine as well,” Miller said. “I did a lot of work on Jaquan Brisker, the safety out of Penn State. I like him a lot, too. ”
With so many stars on Georgia’s national championship defense, Cine contributions may have been overlooked.
“When you look at Lewis Cine, 39 games played, 27 starts from that standpoint,” Miller said. “Brisker was a Lackawanna Junior College player that transferred to Penn State. He didn’t get a lot of playing time in 2019. He was more of a reserve. ”
Brisker was a big hitter with range to cover the field in 2021.
“He can play all three spots,” Miller said. “If you want him in the slot, he’s physical, and receivers don’t get off the line of scrimmage from that standpoint. He makes a lot of plays. ”
Also, Kerby Joseph of Illinois appears to have a future in the NFL.
“The safety position has turned out to be a little bit better than we anticipated,” Kiper said.