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DaeSean Hamilton could be Broncos’ 2018 slot receiver

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The rook’s film study and work ethic are strong - and it appears to be showing already on the field.

PlayStation Fiesta Bowl - Penn State v Washington Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Name: DaeSean Hamilton
Position: WR
Height: 6-foot-1 Weight: 203
Age: 23
Experience: R
College: Penn State

DaeSean Hamilton was selected by the Broncos in the fourth round of the 2018 Draft and was considered a great get by John Elway, even after snagging another wide receiver in the second round in Courtland Sutton.

NFL scout Mark Dulgerian noted that Hamilton and Sutton were both “legit starting potential” and called the Nittany Lion even more “pro ready.”

“Compared to Courtland Sutton, Hamilton is more pro-ready in terms of route running and overall nuance and has a real shot to win the starting slot job in camp,” Dulgerian said.

The Good

There’s a lot to talk about here. We’ve already told you what an all-around great guy Hamilton is, beginning with what an outstanding sibling he has been to his older brother who is autistic and considers DaeSean his hero. And we’ve highlighted the fact that Hamilton likes to be prepared via film before going out on the field, so there’s really nothing not to like about this rookie.

At Penn State, Hamilton was known for his route running, and dozens of scouts and draft analysts highlighted that fact during the draft process.

With the Broncos having WR #1 and WR #2 basically locked up in Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders, the third receiver is up for grabs since Bennie Fowler and Cody Latimer are off the roster. Hamilton’s keen route-running and big target for the slot could come in handy as the Broncos slot receiver - and Hamilton is just fine with that.

“Any opportunity that I see I am going to try and make the most of it. Like you said, there could be an opening in the slot,” he said last month, adding that it’s whatever wide receivers coach Zach Azzani thinks is the best fit. “I’m not just necessarily going to just classify myself in one position. I’m going to try and just get on the field any way possible whether that be in the slot or on the outside.”

Hamilton has definitely been studying his film (he had asked the video crew to download clips of Sanders’ play so he could “watch and learn”) because he got the best of Chris Harris Jr. last week on a five-yard hitch play when he and Sutton took first-team reps.

“Those guys are great. Chris Harris and [Bradley] Roby, those guys have been giving me fits the first couple of days, but I embrace the competition,” Hamilton said last week. “Those guys are going to get me better and hopefully I’m making them better. They’ve obviously been in the league. They’re seasoned vets and know the tricks of the trade. They’re guys that you can just try and up your level against.”

Harris Jr. may have downplayed the importance of Hamilton’s move on him, but Coach Vance Joseph likely doesn’t plan to.

“[Sutton and Hamilton] pushed up to the first team, and we didn’t miss a beat. That’s what you want,” Joseph said. “You want guys in each room who can play as a starter. I was very pleased with those two guys today.”

In addition to his precise route running, Hamilton’s athletic accolades (as noted in his draft profile) include his ability to catch through contact, win contested catches, adds yards after catch, reliable third-down goal-line receiver.

Not surprisingly, the four-year starter who finished as the school’s all-time career receptions leader with 214 and second in all-time yardage (2,842) was also known as a team leader, being named a team captain his senior year.

The Bad

While there truly is no “bad” with Hamilton, there are areas noted for improvement, including his lack of “a second gear” of speed to chase down throws in front of him, inability to win with quickness (must win via route-running), occasional tendency toward drops and a small catch radius.

Playing receiver at the next level will no doubt be an adjustment for a guy like Hamilton who doesn’t have the quickness to separate from the NFL’s highly athletic safeties. But his penchant for film study and running precise routes will certainly give him an edge in making that adjustment sooner.

Quotable

One of the best quotes about Hamilton came from his former Penn State teammate and No. 2 overall pick in the 2018 Draft, Saquon Barkley:

2018 Status

Hamilton has an excellent chance to compete for that No. 3 wide receiver spot along with Sutton. But given Sutton’s lack of experience as a wideout (he was a safety for a couple years before changing to offense) and Hamilton’s strong route running, there’s a good chance Hamilton wins this battle.

As long as I get a chance to go out there and play football, I’m really just grateful for it regardless of where it will be,” he said. “Not really a preference, just really wherever the team needs me to be. I’ll just do it to the best of my capabilities.”

Poll

How do you like the idea of Hamilton playing slot receiver for the Broncos?

This poll is closed

  • 56%
    Are you kidding - I LOVE it!
    (891 votes)
  • 37%
    Sounds good to me, but like he said, wherever Azzani considers the best fit.
    (592 votes)
  • 5%
    He’s impressive, but I don’t think he’ll be a legit starter this season.
    (90 votes)
1573 votes total Vote Now