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Saturday, June 25, 2022

Ravens Kyle Hamilton gets first NFL impression at rookie minicamp

Former Notre Dame safety Kyle Hamilton sat and waited as the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft continued to unravel without his name being called. Sure, Hamilton was selected with the No. 14 overall pick. But, he was considered to be a top five player by many draft analysts and expected to be selected in the top 10.

“In Kyle [Hamilton], we got a rangy safety, a ball hawk [with] tremendous physical skills [and] measurables,” Ravens general manager Eric DeCosta said after drafting Hamilton. “A very, very smart football player [with] a great make up [and] pedigree. [He’s] productive, tough and physical. He can do a myriad of different things for us. I never dreamed in a million years that he would be there.”

The old saying that “Patience is a virtue” fully applies to Hamilton falling to the Baltimore Ravens. A defensive player landing on a defensive minded franchise is a match made in heaven.

“It’s pretty surreal, just being out here and being a Baltimore Raven,” Hamilton said after rookie minicamp. “It’s a dream come true. I get the opportunity to come out here, get better, make mistakes and learn from them. I have great coaches who have been helping me throughout this weekend, and I’m excited to build on it.”

The Ravens have a rich defensive history that includes Hall of Fame safety Ed Reed as one of their all-time greats. Although Hamilton hasn’t played a down yet, he’s already being put to the test.

“It’s definitely challenging. Even the stuff we’re doing right now, where I’m just learning both safety spots is challenging,” Hamilton said. 

“I’ve been trying to take a step back through it all, even the most challenging parts this weekend and just acknowledge the fact that I’m here, and I’m poised to leave whatever mark I will. Hopefully, it’s a good one. I’m pretty confident that it will be, but I’m just excited to be here and be able to perform for a great franchise like this.”

The Ravens coaching staff has Hamilton wearing the green dot helmet which means he has a direct line of communication with defensive coordinator Mike McDonald. Hamilton was responsible for helping relay the call from McDonough to the rest of the defense and getting them lined up correctly. 

The green dot helmet is not utilized at the college level so that was something new to Hamilton. Having a loud voice booming in his helmet before the play startled him the first time he got a play call. But he got used to it as that first practice went on.

The adjustment will continue for Hamilton when the rookies get on the field with veterans during minicamp. After posting eight interceptions, 16 passes defended, 138 tackles including 7.5 for a loss during his time at Notre Dame, the Ravens will be relying on Hamilton to have an instant impact role this season.  

Hamilton will also have a familiar face to lean on in former Notre Dame teammate Daelin Hayes who is an outside linebacker on the Ravens. Hamilton said Hayes sent him a text message immediately after the Ravens drafted him. The message?

“Let’s go win a Super Bowl.”

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