The New York Giants could go several different directions in the 2022 NFL draft, especially with their two first-round selections. Having interviewed Cincinnati cornerback Sauce Gardner recently and connected with Oregon stand-out pass rusher Kayvon Thibodeaux at the NFL Combine, it is clear that Big Blue has their sights set on a defensive player.
However, they also have their eyes on Notre Dame safety Kyle Hamilton, who hosted his Pro Day on Friday, running a 4.56 40-yard dash. His official 40-yard dash at the Combine was a 4.59, a bit slower than people expected but still a sufficient time that doesn’t indicate game speed or play recognition.
The Giants hosted Hamilton in a virtual zoom interview to test his knowledge and become more familiar with his personality.
The Giants hosted a private meeting with Notre Dame safety Kyle Hamilton, per @PeteSampson_
Hamilton is a unicorn talent — incredible physical traits with elite instincts.
Very much in play for the Giants at 7.
— Alex Wilson (@AlexWilsonESM) March 26, 2022
Last season with the fighting Irish, Hamilton produced 34 tackles, two for a loss, three interceptions, and four passes defended. The 6’4″, 220-pound athletic freak could be in play for the Giants at No. 5 or 7, but there’s a low probability he drops out of the top 10.
Looking at Hamilton as a potential scheme fit under Wink Martindale‘s leadership, his versatility in the box and as a free safety makes him incredibly valuable. Martindale loves to play aggressive defensive football, throwing the kitchen sink at opposing quarterbacks in hopes of curating pressure and mistakes. A heavy man-coverage style will force defenders into difficult positions, but Hamilton has proven to be successful as man-to-man while also offering elite free safety qualities. With Xavier McKinney currently manning the spot for the Giants, Wink could use the Notre Dame standout as a roaming safety, asking him to match up in the slot against bigger receivers and cover tight ends of the LOS.
Kyle’s impeccable instincts and football IQ make him a phenomenal prospect, notably one of the best safeties coming out of college in recent memory.
Of course, the Giants have many different needs, including pass rusher, corner, given they trade James Bradberry, and an obvious need on the offensive line. Ultimately, it depends on how the draft shakes out which players are available, but Hamilton is very much in play for the Giants in the first round.