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Kyle Hamilton Continues To Trend As Top-10 Pick In Early 2022 Mocks

Musings and projections regarding next year’s NFL Draft are already plentiful less than two weeks removed from this year’s.

And Notre Dame is in play to have one of the first players picked.

Safety Kyle Hamilton appeared as a top-10 pick in the latest round of way-too-early 2022 mock drafts, which at this stage are more about introducing the top prospects than they are projecting team need, fit and pick order. Hamilton has positioned himself at the front of such discussions with two high-impact seasons.

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Notre Dame Fighting Irish football rising junior safety Kyle Hamilton
Hamilton had six pass breakups for Notre Dame in 2020. (ACC)

ESPN’s Todd McShay’s first 2022 mock pegged Hamilton as the No. 6 overall pick to the Carolina Panthers and as the third defensive player drafted.

“Imagine Hamilton — a 6-foot-4 safety with good ball skills and tackling ability — lined up next to Jeremy Chinn at safety for the Panthers?” McShay wrote. “Carolina just added an impact starter at corner in Jaycee Horn, and now it can continue building up the secondary. Hamilton has five interceptions, 12 passes broken up and 104 tackles over two seasons.”

CBS’ Chris Trapasso also had him going No. 6, but to the New York Giants. (McShay and Trapasso used different methods of determining the draft order). He was the fourth defensive player and third defensive back picked in Trapasso’s mock.

“Hamilton is a hyperactive safety who's as productive against the pass as he is on run plays,” Trapasso wrote. “He's a fantastic blitzer too.”

Pro Football Focus’ Mike Renner, meanwhile, tabbed Hamilton as the No. 10 pick to his hometown team, the Atlanta Falcons.

“Hamilton is a long and rangy safety, but he is also one of the most versatile safeties in the country,” Renner wrote. “Hamilton is like an Isaiah Simmons clone who can stay on the back end in the NFL.”

An FWAA first-team All-American in 2020, Hamilton totaled a team-high 63 tackles (4.5 for loss), six pass breakups and an interception. That followed a 2019 season where he led Notre Dame with four interceptions and was a Freshman All-American.

Hamilton did not participate in Notre Dame’s spring game and was limited to light work in spring practice due to an offseason ankle operation. He missed one game after injuring his ankle in the 2020 opener.

His spring and summer of preseason honors has already begun. PFF ranked him as the No. 2 returning safety in college football, behind only West Virginia to Georgia grad transfer Tykee Smith.

Hamilton has compiled 16 combined pass breakups and interceptions and 15 passing stops as a true freshman and sophomore,” PFF’s Anthony Treash wrote. “Better yet, he was responsible for only three explosive pass plays of 15-plus yards over that span. The Notre Dame safety has generated the third-most WAA among players at his position over the last two years.”



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