It happens every year, but Notre Dame safety Kyle Hamilton is seeing his 2022 NFL Draft stock tumble a little because of reported 40 times.
We’re at the point of the draft process where the impatience is rising, and the boredom of waiting leads us to overthink and overreact to little things for news (a little irony since we’re reacting to it here). But alas, it’s a good time for a reminder of it. With just under a month until the 2022 NFL Draft, the pro day circuit is well underway as prospects either work through testing and drills for the first time (either due to no combine invite or injury) or look to improve their times.
For Kyle Hamilton, it was another opportunity to get in front of personnel guys and scouts from around the league to show what he could do. While many things went well, including the explosion drills, the entire draft community focused on the 40-yard dash time. Hamilton clocked around a 4.7, according to top draft media and other scouts.
It’s a stark difference from the laser-timed 4.59 at the combine, which had many work back to the film. Once that happened, a narrative started to build around Hamilton’s lack of speed and explosion.
The 4.7 could be from a number of factors, things that aren’t often mentioned. Was his technique good running the 40? Does he get out of that stance quickly (something that isn’t a thing safeties do)? At the combine, Hamilton did weave a little in his first 15 yards. When looking back to the tape, the explosion and long strides speak for themselves.
This feels like something we get into with over-evaluation. This isn’t to say going back to film for rechecks is a bad thing, but with that image of 4.7 in our mind, we could be looking for every little example of this. Players will have excellent plays, and they will have bad plays. It’s a part of the game. No prospect is perfect, and playing defense (especially in the secondary) is a difficult proposition.
As to Hamilton, his stock dropping will happen based on this 40 time and the lack of positional value, something that’s often talked about with the safety position. In a league that is increasingly moving to erasing matchups, getting playmakers who can do it all at safety, and hang deep in coverage while also wrapping up in space, Kyle Hamilton is built extremely well for the modern NFL. The 40 time won’t matter when he hears his name called in the 2022 NFL Draft, and it won’t matter once he takes the field in the fall.