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Kyle Hamilton: The road to becoming a consensus NFL All-Pro

When the Baltimore Ravens drafted Kyle Hamilton 14th overall, out of the University of Notre Dame, in the 2022 NFL Draft, it was the perfect fit.

Hamilton, the best defensive back in college football that season, was heading to a franchise synonymous with defense.

Having previously boasted all-time elite defenders like Ed Reed, Ray Lewis, Eric Weddle, Lardarius Webb, and Terrell Suggs, Hamilton looked to be the next in line. After all, many considered the safety, who skipped his final year at Notre Dame to enter the draft, the best overall prospect, regardless of position, in that year’s draft class.

“Kyle Hamilton is an eraser,” said then-Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly.

“It’s hard to get (All-American candidate at Tight End) Mike Mayer the football when we go against him because we’re bracketing the inside backer with Kyle Hamilton and Kyle’s got him over the top, then we got him inside-out, so when you have that kind of player, who can take a player like Mike Mayer away, imagine what he can do to others.”

A consensus five-star recruit when he came to South Bend, he left having been a consensus All-America selection in 2021 despite being limited to seven games because of a knee injury.

Hamilton racked up 138 tackles and eight interceptions during his three years on the Fighting Irish roster. His Fighting Irish career saw him go from freshman All-American nickel back to starter and All-ACC to team captain and best overall player.

We’re seeing that same fast learning curve here in the pros. Hamilton played in 16 games his rookie season, starting four. He finished the 2022 season with 62 total tackles (46 solo), two sacks and five pass breakups. His exploits landed him on the PFWA All-Rookie team.

This past season, the son of a pro basketball player with a distinguished career in the European leagues took over as a full-time starter. In week three against the Indianapolis Colts, he tied the NFL and broke the franchise record for sacks in the first half of a game with three.

His stellar campaign landed him in the Pro Bowl, and he earned first-team All-Pro honors from numerous publications. So, with this kind of trajectory, where does he go from here?

We’ll cover that in part two of this post.

 

Story originally appeared on Ravens Wire