Kyle Hamilton

Ravens S Kyle Hamilton Underwent Minor Surgery

One of the newest defensive stars to wear the purple and black, young Ravens safety Kyle Hamilton recently underwent a minor surgical procedure, according to Jeff Zrebiec of The Athletic. The purpose of the surgery was to remove some “loose bodies” from the first-team All-Pro’s elbow.

Hamilton has a bit of injury experience in his short NFL career but not anything that has held him out for too long. Twice, knee injuries have flared up on a knee that bothered him at Notre Dame, as well. He also underwent surgery following his rookie season for an injury to the hand and wrist area. He missed a single game as a rookie as well as the final two games of the team’s most recent campaign, at which point Baltimore’s postseason qualification was already determined.

After a rookie season that saw Hamilton rank as the NFL’s top safety, per Pro Football Focus (subscription required), the Ravens made Hamilton a major focal point of their 2023 defense. He started at safety alongside Geno Stone as Marcus Williams spent six of the team’s first nine games injured.

Realizing that they had three viable starters at safety, Baltimore began to take advantage of Hamilton’s versatility, deploying him all over the defense. According to PFF, Hamilton spent 301 snaps at safety, 465 in the slot, 236 in the box, five at cornerback, and even 58 snaps on the defensive line, very literally covering the gamut of defensive positions. With an increased responsibility, Hamilton still graded highly with PFF, ranking as the sixth-best player at his position in 2023.

With Stone now in Cincinnati, the Ravens may have to adjust how they utilize Hamilton this season. Hamilton and Williams will continue to start at safety. In order to deploy Hamilton how they did last year, though, the team will need to find another quality starter at the position. Fourth-year undrafted safety Ar’Darius Washington could be a solution. After two years in a mostly reserve role, Washington was expected to make a much bigger impact on the defense at nickelback in 2023, even earning his first career start before suffering a season-ending chest injury in Week 2 of the season.

After Washington, two rookies could potentially make an impact. The team drafted Sanoussi Kane out of Purdue in the seventh round of this year’s draft. While not too much of a ballhawk, Kane is a physical defender who can make an impact as a strong safety covering the run and tight ends.

There’s been more buzz, though, about undrafted rookie signee Beau Brade out of Maryland. Brade was projected to be an early Day 3 draft pick but somehow fell off the board altogether. Baltimore took advantage and signed him as a free agent. Brade boasts some versatility to be interchangeable at the safety and nickel positions and could push Kane and even Washington for a bigger role that allows Hamilton to roam like he did last year.

The recovery for Hamilton’s recent procedure is approximated at two to three weeks. While he’ll miss the remainder of any physical activities before the team’s summer break, the Ravens are confident that he’ll be back by training camp.

Notable 2024 Pro Bowl Incentives

The NFL released the AFC and NFC Pro Bowl rosters last night. While the annual All-Star event has lost some of its luster (and is eyeing a significant revamping in 2024), a Pro Bowl selection is still a significant accomplishment for many players…especially from a financial standpoint.

There were a number of Pro Bowlers whose selections were tied to contract incentives. We’ve collected some of the notable Pro Bowl incentives below:

Eagles linebacker Haason Reddick didn’t have a traditional Pro Bowl incentive, but his selection will still result in more money. Per Corry, Reddick’s 2024 base salary will increase by $500K (from $13.75MM to $14.25MM) thanks to the Pro Bowl selection.

A handful of former first-round picks also boosted the value of their fifth-year options by earning their first Pro Bowl nod (via Brad Spielberger of Pro Football Focus): Ravens safety Kyle Hamilton, Lions defensive end Aidan Hutchinson, Ravens offensive lineman Tyler Linderbaum, Lions offensive lineman Penei Sewell, and Seahawks cornerback Devon Witherspoon. Jets cornerback Sauce Gardner and Broncos cornerback Patrick Surtain boosted the value of their fifth-round option to the maximum amount with a second Pro Bowl selection.

Beyond incentives, players also get some cash for just participating in the Pro Bowl event. As Jonathan Jones of CBS Sports writes, players on the winning team will earn $88K, while players on the losing team will get $44K. This even applies to Pro Bowl players who can’t participate since they’re playing in the Super Bowl.

Ravens S Kyle Hamilton Suffers MCL Sprain

The Ravens’ secondary was shorthanded by the end of the team’s overtime win in Week 14. Safety Kyle Hamilton exited the contest due to a knee injury, and he could miss further time as well.

An MRI revealed a Grade 1 MCL sprain, as first reported by Jordan Schultz of Bleacher Report. That outcome means the worst-case scenario has been avoided, a positive sign for the 2022 first-rounder. Hamilton has been enjoying a breakout season in 2023, establishing himself as an integral part of Baltimore’s defense. ESPN’s Adam Schefter notes that Hamilton is considered week to week at this point.

When speaking on the subject, head coach John Harbaugh – who is known for having an optimistic outlook on recovery timelines – said Hamilton is day to day (video link). While the 22-year-old’s Week 15 availability will be worth watching as the week progresses, it would come as a surprise if he were to miss signficant time. That will be welcomed news for the AFC leaders given Hamilton’s versatility and production this season.

The Notre Dame product has logged triple-digit snaps at both safety positions in 2023, in part due to the time missed early in the campaign by Marcus Williams. With the latter back in the fold, however, Hamilton has increasingly been used as a slot corner. It is there that he has been used most frequently, and his flexibility has produced a noteworthy statline to date. Hamilton has totaled 69 tackles, three sacks, nine pass deflections and a pair of interceptions (one of which was returned for a touchdown) to date.

Those totals have produced a PFF grade of 81.5, which ranks seventh amongst safeties. Missing Hamilton for any game action down the stretch would thus deal a notable blow to the Ravens’ defense, a unit which has posted top-five totals in a number of categories this season. Both Williams and Geno Stone would be leaned on heavily on the backend in the event Hamilton were to miss Week 15.

NFL Injury Roundup: Jefferson, Herbert, Hamilton

Justin Jefferson‘s return from injured reserve may not last long. In Jefferson’s first game back from the IR-stint caused by a nagging hamstring injury, the Vikings wide receiver was knocked out of the game early with a separate injury.

While cutting across the middle of the field on a deep slant, Jefferson leapt up, arms extended, in an attempt to grab a high pass from quarterback Joshua Dobbs. While Jefferson was fully exposed in the process of the catch, Raiders safety Marcus Epps delivered a big shot to Jefferson’s rib cage from the side.

It didn’t take long for the team to rule Jefferson out for the remainder of the game with a chest injury. According to Tom Pelissero of NFL Network, Minnesota decided to transport Jefferson to a local hospital in Las Vegas. While perhaps not indicative of the worst-case scenario, the Vikings are likely just acting out of an abundance of caution.

At 6-6, the Vikings are one of a handful of NFC teams on the boundary of playoff contention, even without Jefferson for the last eight weeks. If Jefferson’s chest injury is not too painful to overcome, he would be a great asset in a playoff push to close the season.

Here are a few other injury updates from around the league:

  • The Chargers are facing an uphill battle in their attempts to remain in playoff contention. Things won’t get any easier as starting quarterback Justin Herbert was ruled out of today’s game with a finger injury, per ESPN’s Adam Schefter. With Herbert out, backup quarterback Easton Stick has entered the game for his first game action since the 2020 season. Since starting in place of an injured Tyrod Taylor in Week 2 of his rookie season, Herbert has not missed a single start in his career. If Herbert’s finger keeps him out for more than a few days, with Los Angeles facing a short week, Stick could see his first ever NFL start in Vegas this Thursday.
  • Ravens do-it-all safety Kyle Hamilton was forced to leave today’s overtime win over the Rams with a knee injury. He had sat out a couple of plays after initially tweaking his knee before returning to the field of play earlier in the game. A few drives later, he would not return and was ruled out for the rest of the game. According to Schefter, the plan is for Hamilton to undergo an MRI scan tomorrow in order to determine the extent of the injury. Baltimore is set up well with Marcus Williams and Geno Stone at safety, but Hamilton lines up in so many places on the defense that he would be virtually impossible to replace with a single player if he’s forced to miss any time.

Latest On Ravens’ CB Situation

The Ravens appear to have their starting boundary tandem in place at the cornerback position. A number of candidates are vying for the first-team role in the slot, however.

Marlon Humphrey is in place to once again serve as the anchor of Baltimore’s secondary, but fellow All-Pro Marcus Peters is no longer in the fold. The latter signed a long-anticipated deal with the Raiders recently, marking a formal end to his Ravens tenure. Rock Ya-Sin had already been acquired as a Peters replacement, signing a one-year contract in May. The former Colt and Raider is currently dealing with a knee injury, but it is not believed to be serious (Twitter link via Ian Rapoport of NFL Network).

The question of who starts in the slot remains unanswered. Defensive backs coach Chris Hewitt named several contenders for the role, as detailed by The Athletic’s Jeff Zrebiec (subscription required). Among them is a mix of veteran and young players, as well as those with a background playing at safety as opposed to corner, and vice versa. Hewitt said the position is in an “open competition” at this point.

2022 first-rounder Kyle Hamilton played extensively in the slot as a rookie, but the trade sending Chuck Clark to the Jets paved the way for the Notre Dame product taking on full-time safety duties. The Ravens used three-safety alignments under defensive coordinator Mike McDonald, however, so keeping Hamilton at the nickel could allow the Ravens to deploy their best secondary options for extended stretches.

Other candidates for the position include Brandon Stephens and Ar’Darius Washington. The former was a third-round Ravens selection in 2021, after a college career which saw him play at both running back and corner. Stephens primarily played as a safety as a rookie, but his more common usage came at corner in 2022. Washington, meanwhile, has seen time in the slot in his limited usage since joining Baltimore as a UDFA.

2022 fourth-rounders Damarion Williams and Jalyn Armour-Davis are also contenders for a first-team role. Williams was named as a player to watch during camp, given his more natural fit as a slot corner compared to many of the team’s other options. He missed time at the start of camp due to injury, however, leaving him with ground to make up during the preseason. Hewitt added that Armour-Davis, who played on the outside at Alabama, is under consideration to be moved inside.

By far the most experienced option is Arthur Maulet. The 30-year-old signed a one-year deal last week after being released by the Steelers earlier in the offseason. Maulet has seen considerable usage in the slot over the past three seasons in particular, and it would come as little surprise if that is his primary function in Baltimore. The Ravens were linked to a veteran signing leading up to his addition, but another could be coming as well.

Zrebiec notes that the Ravens could still be in the market for a corner, though the team is focusing on its numerous internal options for the time being. The developments in the ongoing competition will be worth watching as camp practices and preseason games take place.

Ravens Notes: Extensions, Hamilton, WRs

The Ravens have a number of key players set to play the final year of their contracts in 2023, leaving plenty of decisions to be made in the near future. A mix of younger and veteran contributors could soon find themselves signing new deals.

Defensive linemen Justin Madubuike and Broderick Washington are each entering the final season of their rookie deals, but it would come as no surprise if extensions were agreed to with at least one before next year’s free agency period begins. The same holds true in the case of veteran offensive lineman Kevin Zeitler, writes Jeff Zrebiec of The Athletic (subscription required).

The 33-year-old has been in Baltimore since 2021, and he has been a steady presence at right guard during that span. Zeitler has earned PFF grades in line with much of the rest of his career over the past two seasons, leading to his desire for a new contract ahead of his walk year. Zrebeic notes that Zeitler’s asking price is unknown at this point, but a mutual interest exists to extend the relationship between player and club especially on a short-term deal from the latter’s perspective.

Zrebiec adds that 2020 draftees Patrick Queen, J.K. Dobbins and Devin Duvernay could all be on the Ravens’ radar with respect to new deals, but value will be crucial for the former two in particular with other players likely a more cost-effective priority. Duvernay could find himself holding off on an extension to boost his value in new offensive coordinator Todd Monken‘s system.

Here are some other notes from Charm City:

  • Safety Kyle Hamilton missed just one game in his rookie season last year, but he dealt with a lingering wrist injury for much of the campaign. As noted in an interview the first-rounder had with Zrebiec, he underwent surgery this offseason to address the issue. Hamilton, 22, now feels fully healed, something which will help him take on a full-time starting role this season. The Notre Dame product totaled 62 stops, a pair of sacks and five pass deflections last year, but the trade of Chuck Clark leaves him in line as a key member of Baltimore’s secondary now and in the future.
  • The Ravens have invested heavily at the WR spot this offseason, signing Odell Beckham Jr. and Nelson Agholor and using their top draft pick on Zay FlowersLaquon Treadwell inked a deal with the Ravens earlier this month, giving him a chance to make the team’s roster during training camp. If he does, the four aforementioned pass-catchers, along with 2021 draftee Rashod Bateman, would combine to give the Ravens five former first-round picks at the receiver spot. No team has had that many Day 1 selections catch a pass in the same season, as noted by ESPN’s Jamison Hensley. Plenty of question remarks remain regarding Baltimore’s passing attack – one which has signficant room for improvement in 2023 – but the team could make an interesting piece of history this season depending on how their WR room shakes out in the summer.

Ravens Sign First-Round Pick Kyle Hamilton

The Ravens have signed their top pick. NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reports (via Twitter) that Baltimore has inked Kyle Hamilton to his rookie deal.

The defensive back signed a four-year pact worth a fully guaranteed $16.225MM, and he’ll earn a signing bonus worth a tad more than $9MM. As Jonas Shaffer of The Baltimore Sun points out, this is one of the largest rookie deals in franchise history, rivaling Ronnie Stanley‘s four-year, $20.5MM deal in 2018 and Joe Flacco‘s five-year, $11.9MM deal (plus another $18MM in incentives) in 2008.

Hamilton had a highly productive three-year career at Notre Dame, collecting 138 tackles and eight interceptions. His ability to play multiple positions at a high level led to him being a projected top-five pick, but his testing numbers, season-ending knee injury, and subpar athletic profile ultimately led to him dropping to Baltimore at No. 15. Still, his versatility (Hamilton played both safety and linebacker in college) makes him an ideal fit for Baltimore’s defense.

The Ravens lost safety DeShon Elliott but replaced him with former-Saints safety Marcus Williams, so there’s a chance Hamilton ends up lining up at linebacker as a rookie. Defensive Coordinator Mike Macdonald recently described the rookie “as advertised,” with the coach noting that the young player was up for any challenge.

Hamilton wasn’t the only Ravens rookie to sign a contract today. The team also inked cornerback Damarion Williams to his rookie pact (via the team on Twitter). The Houston product appeared in 13 games during his senior season, compiling 53 tackles and one interception.

As our 2022 NFL team-by-team draft results show, Williams and Hamilton are now the fifth and sixth rookie to ink a contract with the Ravens. Second-round linebacker David Ojabo (Michigan) is the highest-drafted player who remains unsigned.

Ravens Notes: WRs, Clark, Ojabo

The Ravens were busier than expected during Round 1 of last week’s draft, making not one but two selections. To acquire the second pick, of course, they honored Marquise Brown‘s trade request. That was the largest of a number of receiver departures this offseason, leaving many surprised the team didn’t draft a wideout at any point over the weekend.

When asked about that, general manager Eric DeCosta said, “it wasn’t for a lack of effort. I think, honestly, the fact that there was a run of receivers in the first round like there was … I wouldn’t say it was a great receiver class in general, compared to some of the years… There were some receivers that we liked; we tried to take a couple guys at different points… I said this last year, but we like our receivers.” 

Baltimore’s WR room now consists of recent draftees Rashod Bateman, Devin Duvernay, James Proche and Tylan Wallace. DeCosta did say, though, that the team “will add players to the mix”, a process which will likely involve diving into the remaining free agent market.

Here are some more notes from around Charm City:

  • Regarding DeCosta’s above remark about failing to land draft targets at WR, they were apparently one pick away from selecting Calvin Austin III, according to Peter King of FMIA. As he details, Baltimore was prepared to use pick No. 139 on the Memphis speedster, but the Steelers took him at 138. While they didn’t draft a wideout, the Ravens did add a pair of tight ends in the fourth round: Charlie Kolar and Isiah Likley.
  • After the Ravens drafted safety Kyle Hamilton 14th overall, some have raised questions about Chuck Clark‘s future with the team. CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora writes that it’s “hard to see” Baltimore keeping the latter much longer, given Hamilton’s skillset and the recent trend of trading away valued players seeking new and/or larger roles.
  • Another draft pick vaunted for its relative value was that of edge rusher David Ojabo in the second round. His reason for falling out of the first round – a torn Achilles suffered at his pro day – has many expecting the Michigan product to miss his entire rookie season. However, as ESPN’s Jamison Hensley writes, the team is “optimistic that at some point this year he’ll have a chance to play”, a sentiment which Ojabo himself also shares.

Ravens Draft Kyle Hamilton At No. 14 Overall

Notre Dame’s Kyle Hamilton has seen his first round slide end at No. 14 overall in the 2022 NFL Draft. The Ravens get the top-ranked safety on the board who was viewed at points of the pre-draft process at a top-5 draft pick. 

Hamilton had a highly productive three-year career with the Fighting Irish. He totaled 138 tackles and eight interceptions, demonstrating positional flexibility and leadership qualities along the way. His testing numbers, season-ending knee injury and overall athletic profile, however, have led to a belief he could drop to at least the second half of the first round.

Luckily for Hamilton, his fall has ended and he landed himself in a franchise that prides itself on defense. The Ravens lost safety DeShon Elliott, but replaced him with former-Saints safety Marcus Williams.

Whether the Ravens will utilize Hamilton to help replace Elliott’s production or to boost a lackluster linebacker group is to be seen. Hamilton’s versatility will give them plenty of options in the upcoming season.

Draft Rumors: Jets, Dean, Walker, Hill, Hamilton

Both New York teams are in the enviable position of having two top-ten picks in Thursday’s first-round of the 2022 NFL Draft. The Jets have made it clear that they are prepared to use their No. 10 overall pick in order to acquire 49ers wide receiver Deebo Samuel, who requested a trade this week.

According to Tony Pauline of Pro Football Network, league sources believe the Jets will use the No. 4 overall pick to address their defense, despite recent chatter that they may be targeting NC State offensive lineman Ikem Ekwonu. Pauline reports that he has heard that “the coaches love Kayvon Thibodeaux, but front office personnel have a lot of concerns.”

Thibodeuax has seen his stock drop since the tail end of the college football season with questionable concerns over his motor and effort. Coaches, though, see his ability and potential and, understandably, want him on their defense.

Here are a few more Draft rumors from Pauline’s article concerning some risers and fallers:

  • Pauline claims there’s a 50/50 chance that Georgia linebacker Nakobe Dean goes in the first round. Dean led the National Champion Bulldogs in tackles for loss and was second on the team in both total tackles and sacks. He’s a talented prospect, but teams desire to have the fifth-year option at their disposal for other positions such as cornerback, receiver, or quarterback.
  • Dean’s teammate, fellow Georgia linebacker Quay Walker, has been soaring up the boards lately. Like Dean, it’s unlikely Walker hears his name called on Day 1, but it’s looking more and more likely that he won’t last long in the second round of the Draft.
  • Michigan safety Daxton Hill has been the consensus second-best safety prospect for all of the offseason. While he’s been rising up boards as teams begin to realize his versatility and ability to play as a free safety, in the box safety, or even over a slot receiver, he’s still unlikely to be selected in the first round. Hill is another player expected to be drafted early into Day 2.
  • The top consensus safety prospect on the board, Notre Dame’s Kyle Hamilton, has been dropping in popularity in the days leading up to the Draft. It won’t be enough for him to lose his title as the top-ranked safety over Hill or even enough to drop him out of the first round, but for a player that is consistently considered a top-ten or even top-five prospect in the Draft, this fall is potentially costing him top money. Pauline reports that league sources see Hamilton going around picks 15 to 20.