With only 45 days until the 2022 NFL Draft kicks off, we are left with nothing but the pro day circuit, player meetings and the rumor mill to pass the time.
A couple former Notre Dame stars have been a consistent fixture among mock drafts this cycle, most notably former All-American safety Kyle Hamilton, who has been among the first ten selections on virtually every mock to date. Former running back Kyren Williamshowever, had been a pretty consistent member for mock draft makers who extended to the three round variety.
That luster has been lost with Williams’ recent performance at the 2022 NFL Scouting Combine.
In recent mock drafts submitted by James Fragoza of Pro Football NetworkTom Fornelli of CBS Sports and Vinny Iyer of The Sporting News, there were a couple different patterns to consider when evaluating the outlook for the former Notre Dame stars.
In each of the three mock drafts, Kyle Hamilton continued to be selected amongst the first ten selections overall. For a majority of mocks in the past, the Atlanta Falcons seemed to be the floor for the talented defender. In this installment, we added a new potential landing spot for the 6-4, 220 pound safety and also landed in a couple recurring locations. Let’s break down each fit, with a little instant reaction.
James Fragoza of Pro Football Network gets us kicked off with his most recent mock draft, having the New York Jets select the former Notre Dame star with the 10th overall selection. Here’s from Fragoza had to say:
“Kyle Hamilton is somewhat of a controversial player in the NFL Draft. Some believe the positional value of the safety position will drop him out of the top 10. Others expect him to go in the top five due to his overall skill set di lui.
Well, I’m firmly fence-sitting by placing him at No. 10 to the Jets. Yet, this is likely his floor of him because of his insane range and 6’4 ′ ′ frame. Robert Saleh wouldn’t mind passing on fringe top-10 CBs and EDGEs when he can potentially grab the best player in the class. ”
This is not the first time the New York Jets have selected Hamilton in the top ten of a mock draft – but usually he comes off the board with their fourth overall selection. By my account, this pick at ten is a pretty rare spot for Hamilton to come off the board.
There may be some lag for him after coming off a combine performance that was a big uneven. Still, the reasoning makes sense.
Hamilton’s talent level is hard to envision dropping out of the top ten selections. The value of the safety position has been the main skepticism around whether that thought process materializes come April.
Tom Fornelli of CBS Sports also brought us a new potential landing spots, forecasting him to go sixth overall to the Carolina Panthers in his recent mock. Here’s
Here’s how Fornelli sees the Hamilton fit in Carolina:
“I had Kenny Pickett here in my first two mocks, and while that’s still very much in play, Hamilton makes plenty of sense for Carolina too. He just hasn’t been here in my previous mocks. Now, if the draft arrives and Carolina hasn’t added a viable QB to its roster yet, then Pickett or any other QB is very much in play at this spot. ”
That is a player to team pairing that has been foreign to me during the process. It’s a little hard to believe that the Panthers would go that route currently unless the quarterback and offensive tackle positions were remedied during the free agency period. It’s an interesting landing spots – albeit a bit unlikely.
In the final mock draft, Vinny Iyer of The Sporting News made an aggressive selection, having the Detroit Lions select Hamilton with the second overall pick. Now, that is one that has been seen before but not as much recently. Here is Iyer’s reasoning for Hamilton landing with the Lions:
“The Lions also should think about impact playmaker for their defensive coordinator, Aaron Glenn. The former star defensive back should appreciate what all the unique Hamilton can do for a secondary, an extra thumper to help the linebacker corps and a solid extra inside cover man with a nose for the ball. ”
If that selection did materialize, Kyle Hamilton would become the highest drafted primary safety ever selected in the NFL Draft. While my fan goggles are hoping for this outcome, this one also feels a bit unrealistic.
Iyver makes a sound argument for it. Hamilton would give the Detroit defense a lot of possibilities and would also give to them the player that I believe is the best overall player in the draft – regardless of positional value.
It is clear that Hamilton is a firm bet to hear his name called very early after the 2022 NFL Draft begins. Kyle Williams, on the other hand, has a less easily predicted outcome.
After spending a lot of time in the second and third rounds of mock drafts this cycle, he did not manage to make none of these mock drafts, all of which did extend to three rounds. At this point, teams seem like they might hesitate based on Williams’ testing in Indianapolis.
He has a chance to be one of the bigger values if that does become a reality. The film tells a much different story for the caliber of athlete he is.
Soon, mock drafts won’t have much merit. We are just a few weeks until we have the real thing. Keep those mocks coming but the day is almost upon us!
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