DaeSean Hamilton is the all-time receptions leader at Penn State. Hamilton, though, wasn’t really highly thought of as an NFL prospect at the end of the 2017 season.
Hamilton, though, has taken full advantage of the various showcases for NFL prospects. He was impressive enough at the East-West Shrine Game to earn a late invitation to the Senior Bowl. He then continued to impress during the NFL Combine.
Mike Mayock, the NFL Network analyst, said Hamilton has gone from “a third-day afterthought [at the NFL Draft] to somebody who’s now potentially a third-round pick.”
“in a 14-day period, with the East-West Game and the Senior Bowl, he helped himself as much as anybody in the country,” Mayock said. “I thought he got better every day, which says a lot, and coaches love that.”
Hamilton knew that’s what he had to do in order to assure himself a chance to be an NFL player.
“Before the whole process started I was basically an afterthought, wasn’t really somebody that was on anybody’s radar,” he said recently via phone. “Just took all those opportunities to try to improve myself, make an impression and make the most of those opportunities.”
Are the Giants interested?
That’s tough to say for certain. Hamilton was supposed to work out at the team’s local Pro Day last Friday. He did not, however, as he ended up with a private workout scheduled for another team,
Hamilton said he spoke to Giants wide receivers coach Tyke Tolbert at the Combine, and to Giants scouts at both the Shrine Game and Senior Bowl. During the Shrine Game practice week, Tony Pauline of Draft Analyst wrote that he believed the Giants were “very interested” in Hamilton.
The Giants signed Cody Latimer as a free agent. The future of Brandon Marshall remains in question, though, and the Giants could use depth and competition behind Odell Beckham Jr. and Sterling Shepard.
What is the scouting report?
Hamilton is just a shade over 6-foot and weighs 203 pounds. He caught a school-record 214 passes at Penn State, and is 2,842 receiving yards is second in school history.
What scouting report would he give himself?
“Experienced player, great football IQ, great route runner, great hands, can win against man to man coverage, able to create separation, recognizes zone coverage,” Hamilton said. “I believe I’m one of the better, if not the best receivers in this draft class.”
In his prospect profile, Chris said Hamilton “reminds me somewhat of a younger Victor Cruz.”
In his 2018 NFL Draft Guide, Dane Brugler of NFL Draft Scout says Hamilton is a “crafty route runner” with”ordinary physical traits.”
A mature and responsible young man, his impact was also felt off the field and his accountable character and mental toughness will be strong selling points to NFL teams. Hamilton plays all over the formation and relies more on nuanced pace than natural burst in his routes to outmaneuver defenders in coverage. He finds the ball well in flight and fights for positioning, but the drops are frustrating. Overall, Hamilton doesn’t have noteworthy size, strength or speed and needs to be more consistent finishing catches, but his route savvy and “always available” approach make him a quarterback’s best friend in the Doug Baldwin mold.
Hamilton appears likely to be a mid-round pick.
About that character
Hamilton and I didn’t really talk much about his background. It’s been well-documented, and he has told the stories about his military upbringing and his brother countless times.
Hamilton was born to military parents, both Marines, in Okinawa, Japan. His brother, Darius, has a non-verbal form of autism. The two are close, and DaeSean always helped take care of Darius.
“That’s really all I knew at a young age, and it made me mature,” Hamilton said. “It also humbled me at a young age as well, not to really take anything for granted.”
His parents instilled a work ethic in Hamilton that has not only helped him hone his craft, but is leaving Penn State having already two degrees. Yes, two! One in Advertising and PR, the other in Telecommunications.
“Growing up they instilled the work ethic in me, the mentality to try to be the best at everything that I’m doing,” Hamilton said. “They made sure academics was something that was very important and I took very seriously.”