Drew Boylhart   2/09

Michael Hamlin   S   Clemson         

 

STRENGTHS

Mike has good size and speed to play his position.  He is a head-up, wrap-up squeeze and drive tackler.  He has solid cover skills - enough to cover a TE down the slot one-on-one.  He is smart and shows leadership skills with his play on the field.  Mike is consistent and will make the big play; he  also smart enough to let that play come to him.  He has excellent potential to be a core player and a fan favorite for the team that drafts him.  

 

NEEDS TO IMPROVE

Right now, Mike is a bit of a tweener.  For the strong safety position, he would have to get bigger and stronger.  For the free safety position, he will have to get quicker and learn better coverage skills.  However, he cannot do both; therefore, he has to make a choice or he will be a safety who can only be used in a two deep zone system.  That's not a bad thing, but it does limit him in regards to what teams will draft him.  Injuries are also an issue for Mike.  In the past, he has had problems that could affect his draft status.  

  

TALENT BOARD ROUND 3

Usually, safeties like Mike are drafted after the first three rounds because of their physical limitations and the developmental aspects of their games.  Mike is a very attractive player because he is such a good tackler in open space, which means this kid for his first few years has impact potential for the special teams units.  In my opinion, this pushes Mike into a first day pick.  This, along with his intelligence and the potential to improve his cover skills,  would encourage me to draft Mike a little earlier than most teams if I had some age in my Safety position.  The worst case scenario with drafting Mike is that you can only use him as a safety in nickel and dime packages and he becomes an impact special teams player.  The best case scenario is that Mike develops into a starting safety for your team who is a core player and a fan favorite because the kid knows how to tackle.  Look for his 10- & 20-yard times at the combine which should tell you Mike's true potential to be successful at the next level.  Remember, the true difference between a 4.5 guy and a 4.6 guy is how fast they get up to full speed -- not how fast they are at full speed.  On the field a 4.6 guy (at full speed) is close enough to the 4.5 guy (at full speed) to tackle him.  It's the burst that is the difference.  It's all in the burst and the angles.