How much do you value Combine/Pro Day testing and positional value vs. game tape? That is the question that teams will have to ask themselves when considering drafting Kyle Hamilton in this 2022 NFL Mock Draft.
To me, Kyle Hamilton could be the very best prospect in the 2022 NFL Draft. Sure, he may be listed as a safety. Sure, he may have ran a slow 40-yard dash. But watch the tape. I beg you. When you do, you’ll see an incredibly talented player who belongs near the very top of the draft.
Hamilton really does everything incredibly well. He has linebacker instincts when playing in the box against the run, has great ball skills and closing speed when contesting passes in zone coverage and has the size and athleticism to match up against any offensive weapon in the NFL.
For the New York Giants, they are able to land arguably the most talented defensive player in this draft after rounding out their offensive line. Hamilton is the type of player that they were looking for when trading for Jabril Peppers, and the new former Buffalo Bills regime have seen how impactful a pair of effective young safeties can be for a defense. Hamilton and Xavier McKinney have the potential to develop into the next Micah Hyde and Jordan Poyer and Hamilton is certainly worth a top 10 pick in this 2022 NFL Mock Draft.
In the biggest move of this 2022 NFL Mock Draft, the Pittsburgh Steelers jump up into the top 10 to get their quarterback of the future, Liberty’s Malik Willis. Mike Tomlin has faced Lamar Jackson twice a year since he came into the league and has expressed his interest in getting a mobile quarterback for his offense moving forward. Willis is that guy in this draft.
Everyone is looking for the “next” version of the great players in the NFL. Under-the-radar, slot-type receivers are dubbed “The Next Cooper Kupp”. Offensive weapons who are effective both as receivers and as runners out of the backfield aim to be “The Next Deebo Samuel”. After his MVP campaign in 2019, everyone was looking for “The Next Lamar Jackson”. Malik Willis is as close as you’re going to get.
Willis has an absolute cannon for an arm. I believe that he is a more talented passer than even Jackson was coming out of Louisville. He can really make every NFL throw, zipping balls to the boundary or into tight windows, displaying great touch down the field and throwing with great anticipation at every level.
With his legs, Willis adds a different dynamic. He really looks like a running back at times with the ball in his hands, which is a great compliment. He is shifty in the open field, has the power to fight through defenders for extra yards and shows the speed to create and finish big runs.
The Steelers signed Mitchell Trubisky this offseason and will surely start for this year and maybe next, after signing a two-year deal. However, the team should realize that Trubisky lacks the true high-end upside that you need from a quarterback to compete and will have time to develop Willis into the player that they want to see moving forward in a tough AFC and AFC North.