Rookie Spotlight: DaeSean Hamilton, Penn State University
Height: 6’ 3/5’’ (official)
Weight: 202 lbs (official)
Hands: 9 1/4”
Arm: 32 5/8”
40 yard dash: 4.59 (unofficial)
NFL Comparison: Robert Woods
– excellent route runner
– makes contested catches with regularity
– soft hands
– creates separation despite lack of speed
– sharp footwork
– willing blocker
– not afraid to go over the middle
– lacks breakaway speed
– makes arm catches a little too often
Scouting Notes: DaeSean Hamilton is the kind of player who maintains a long NFL career, if he can get one going in the first place, as little of his success on the field lives or dies by his natural speed. Hamilton uses savvy footwork and sound route running to make his opportunities come to life, creating separation the hard way. He’s also not afraid to go over the middle to make plays that are often contested, coming down with the ball more often than not. He does tend to make more arm-and-body catches than I’d like to see in those situations, but a hard-fought arm catch is a catch all the same.
Hamilton isn’t just getting by on his technique, he’s thriving on it. 73.3% of catches in college were over 20 yards, a mark that led all FBS players – He’s getting open for big chunks of real estate on a regular basis.
Hamilton isn’t just sacrificing his body to make the kind of catches in traffic that make you wince before you see the inevitable collision. Without hesitation, he’s willing to put himself in harm’s way to block for his fellow offensive players. And he’s big enough to make those blocks count.
On-field success is just one piece to the puzzle of being an effective football player these days. Character goes a long way, and Hamilton has it in spades according to every scout who has had the mind to comment on him – He’s the kind of guy that players want to play with and coaches want to coach.
Fantasy Outlook: Hamilton has seen a steady rise in draft stock since the evaluation process has gotten hot and heavy over the past couple of months. Scouts have gone from saying he would go undrafted to a current mid-round projection, and there’s room to rise. There a lot of good receivers in this draft class, but it’s harder to spot the elite ones in a draft that should be remembered first and foremost for RBs in the years to come. Hamilton isn’t one of those elite WR prospects, but he’s been second to none in the interview process, and that counts for a lot in today’s NFL. The only thing getting in the way of his potential success is his lack of speed on the field. Pro corners aren’t quite as susceptible to fancy footwork and a well-run route as college defenders, so it’s yet to be seen if Hamilton can create the same kind of space he’s been so adept at making for himself. If he can hold up that end of the bargain, he’s going to get the chance to make a name for himself in the league. He reminds me a lot of Robert Woods, a solid receiver lacking in flash who has begun to flourish with the right opportunities. I see Hamilton as more of an asset in the slot, but he’s got the size to make it on the outside as well. He’s probably more of a flyer in dynasty leagues right now, but a spot on a receiver-needy team could boost his stock overnight.