Name: DaeSean Hamilton
Position: Wide Receiver
School: Penn State
Hamilton produced at Penn State largely because of his route running. There is no loop to his breaks; everything is tight and compact. He uses stems and head fakes very effectively, setting up the opponent for his next move. He is not the best at fighting off the press, but he likely will not have to deal with that much out of the slot in the NFL. Simply put, while not an overly impressive physical specimen, Hamilton gets open a lot.
Hamilton has the speed and quickness to be an effective play-maker at the next level, though his overall athleticism is average. He will not burn corners with straight line speed often. But he does have the shiftiness to get open and make defenders miss once the ball is in his hands. Hamilton is not an elite leaper, so his ability to high point balls is somewhat lacking. He attacks the ball well but will likely be out-athleted by NFL defensive backs. Because of that, his ceiling is likely really good slot receiver.
For a number one receiving target, Hamilton’s size is nothing special. But for what he will be at the next level, a shifty slot receiver, his size is great. While he lacks length, Hamilton plays big and strong, knows how to use his body well and can make catches in traffic.
Hamilton’s hands come and go. He can fend off contact and make great catches in traffic, but he also is occasionally a body catcher. Therefore, from time to time, he gets a case of the dropsies. But when he keeps his hands out and attacks the ball, he shows strong hands.
Minnesota is in the market to take at least one receiver in this year’s draft. The question is what kind of receiver they think would better complete the offense. On the one hand, Adam Thielen typically works best when in the slot, taking advantage of his exceptional route-running. Therefore, it would make sense to find a receiver who can be a threat on the edge in a way Laquon Treadwell has not been.
However, another thought is that Thielen has proven he is a number one regardless of where he lines up. Having an elite route-runner like Hamilton lining up in the slot next to him opens up all sorts of route combinations and misdirection. Jarius Wright was a first down machine in 2017, but Hamilton converted first downs on almost 80 percent of his catches. Plus, he has size and skill that Wright simply does not. Penn State frequently used Hamilton as a deep threat out of the slot, something Wright was almost never used for in 2017.
Overall, the Vikings third receivers were afterthoughts in 2017. Hamilton could be the guy to change that in the back end of the third round.