2020 Packers Draft Prospect Profile
Name: KJ Hamler
Position: Wide Receiver
School: Penn State University
Weight: 176 pounds
|*2018||Penn State||Big Ten||FR||WR||13||42||754||18.0||5||4||44||11.0||1||46||798||17.3||6|
|*2019||Penn State||Big Ten||JR||WR||13||56||904||16.1||8||13||43||3.3||0||69||947||13.7||8|
KJ Hamler is lightning in the open field. His straight-line speed might not be on the Henry Ruggs level, but his explosiveness is remarkable. He is a sight to behold when he gets the ball in his hands. One of the shiftiest WR options this year. His vision in the open field is incredible, which shows up in his return ability as well as his RAC ability. Hamler’s change-of-direction ability is the best in the class and he can make defenders look silly trying to tackle air. Press coverage poses some difficulty for him due to his limited frame, but he has room on that frame for additional mass which should help against physical coverage. He’s small, which likely makes him a slot-exclusive receiver at the NFL level, but his agility and explosiveness help project him as high-impact playmaker very early on in his career.
Displayed average hands in college with some frustrating drops. Occasionally caught pinning the ball against his chest to make the catch, but is a hands catcher more often than not. He has a limited catch radius because of his small stature, but he’ll make the reception if it’s within his range. Hamler has good body control to contort to make contested catches, but the fact is he’s too small to be very effective hauling in contested catches or inaccurate throws. He won’t be Moss-ing defenders, but drops are uncommon enough that they shouldn’t be an issue for him.
Hamler is an exceptionally nuanced route runner. He uses his agility to use false breaks to create additional separation from defenders. Great use of head fakes to make the defensive back take a false step, which is all he needs to create space. He has the ability to threaten the defense at all levels of the field. He should not be used as a blocker in the NFL, again because of his size, but his effort in that area is admirable. Ran a fairly complete & complex route tree in college (though almost exclusively from the slot) which should translate well to the NFL. He tracks the ball well over his shoulder on deep routes. Lacks little in terms of technique, his limitations are almost entirely because of his diminutive size.
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Why Hamler for the Packers?
The Packers would benefit greatly from having an explosive playmaker to threaten defenses, and it’s hard to find one more explosive than Hamler. He is the kind of player who can take a screen pass behind the line of scrimmage, make three guys miss, and take it 80+ yards for a touchdown. He’s a nightmare for defenses playing soft coverage with his sublime shiftiness and route running and will create plenty of opportunity for targets for himself over the middle of the field. Hamler has the explosive athletic profile to threaten defenses whenever he gets his hands on the football, something that would provide a jumpstart to what was an anemic passing offense last season.
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