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2019 Broncos roster: Wide receiver DaeSean Hamilton

The second-year wide receiver figures to be a big part of the offense this upcoming season.

NFL: Denver Broncos at San Francisco 49ers Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

The Denver Broncos selected former Penn State wide receiver DaeSean Hamilton in the fourth round, pick 113 of the 2018 NFL Draft. The wide receiver who the Broncos decision-makers were able to see up close and personal at the Reese’s Senior Bowl paired with second-round pick Courtland Sutton to give the team their future at wide receiver.

Now the second year wide receiver will look to have a breakout year in newly hired Offensive Coordinator Rich Scangarello’s offense.

DaeSean Hamilton Profile

Height: 6’1” | Weight: 203 pounds | 40-time: 4.52 seconds* (Pro day time)

Arm length: 31” | Hands: 9 3/8”

Vertical jump: 34.5 inches | Broad jump: 118.0 inches | 3-Cone Drill: 6.84 seconds

20-Yard Shuttle: 4.15 seconds

Hamilton played a total of four seasons for Penn State and was a consistent weapon for their offense during his time with them. During his four year career, Hamilton totaled 214 receptions for 2,842 yards and 18 touchdown receptions. During his final year at Penn State, Hamilton totaled 53 receptions for 857 yards and 9 touchdowns.

His performance during his senior season earned him an invite to the Reese’s Senior Bowl where he shined on the practice field. He showed off his advanced route running ability in front of the Broncos decision makers as they were coaching the North squad, the same squad that featured DaeSean Hamilton.

After spending much of the first half of the 2018 season active, but on the bench for the Broncos offense, Hamilton really began to shine in the second half. Demaryius Thomas was traded away and Emmanuel Sanders suffered a season-ending injury, so his window for playing time opened. Hamilton started the final five games of the season and caught 25 receptions and two touchdowns during that five-game span. In total, Hamilton caught 30 receptions for 243 yards, and 2 touchdowns for the Broncos.

Hamilton told reporters earlier this offseason that he’s further ahead as a player right now than he was at this time last year. He also said he is running “a lot more routes” which is a plus for someone who is expected to be your slot receiver.

“Compared to last year what my role was to now, I’m running a lot more routes. I’m getting to use a lot of things I can do in route running within this offense and putting me in positions where I have to beat the guy over me and find open spaces, stuff that. I can use my football IQ with that, which I had already had. It’s just a different scheme, a different structure of things. I think just the difference from this year from last year is just the confidence. Last year, I was thankful to be out there on the field. Now I’m more so worried about what I am doing and making sure I’m doing the right thing at all times. Now it’s just not really worrying about if you’re doing the wrong things it’s about making the play over the guy that lined up over you and being able to play a lot faster in that regard. Last year worked for me, at least from a rookie standpoint, but now I just try to make gains and I grow.”

Hamilton is expected to make a big jump this year as most second-year players often do. However, he’s learning his second NFL offense in two years, but by the sounds of it, he believes this offense could be a “well-oiled machine” if everything goes correctly this year.

“I think it’s an offense where, with the guys that we have, we could be a well-oiled machine. We have so many guys that can get the ball in their hands on this offense. with coach Scang’s offense and his philosophy being like that, it’s about getting [premier guys open, getting guys the ball in space, running between the tackles, setting up the play-action, and when we set up the play-action, we’ll get a good run game. Guys are going to be able to be open way farther down the field, being able to take shots and things like that. I’m excited about coach Scang’s offense, his philosophy and what he’s installing right now. A lot of plays have been from the runs and it’s fun to go against the defense to see how they work out.”

I for one hope Hamilton’s assessment of Offensive Coordinator Rich Scangarello’s offense and its potential productivity come true this upcoming season.

The good

Hamilton is potentially the best route runner on the team. Going through the pre-draft process, his route running ability was evident, especially at the Senior Bowl. I remember watching these practices and him owning defensive backs in these one on one drills was happening rep after rep.

His route running ability is why I see him primarily being used in the slot in the Broncos offense. He always finds himself open which should make him a favorite of veteran starting quarterback Joe Flacco,

He can also hold his own on the outside as well. He doesn’t have blazing speed, but his route running ability helps him gain separation and he has the size/physicality to win contested catches. He proved this during his short five-game stint as a starter for the Broncos late last season.

He should continue getting starting reps this season, especially with Emmanuel Sanders returning from an Achilles injury. I doubt that Sanders will be ready come the start of Training Camp, so I expect Hamilton to open camp as a starter opposite of fellow second-year wide receiver Courtland Sutton. These starting reps figure to be valuable for a young player in a new offense and hopefully, he can turn these reps into production during the year.

Hamilton was asked recently if he met his expectations last season and he replied that they were a “little bit below” from what he expected. He continued that he has high expectations for himself and hopes to pick up where he left off last season for the Broncos.

“It was actually just a little bit below the standard that I had for myself. Obviously, I was rookie last year so I didn’t know what to expect essentially but I had big goals and bit aspirations for myself. Me not getting into the swing of my rookie season, kind of not until later on in the season the last seven or eight games. I kind of had a season cut in half in terms of usage and different areas. I was still obviously uplifted and still basically grateful that I have the opportunity that I’m able to go out on Sundays and do whatever it is that the team asked me to do whatever the role was. The standards and expectations that I set for myself last year, at least in my standards, I didn’t meet them. That’s just obviously why I’m so excited for this season to get started so I can basically just pick up where I left off last year and just have a full season under my belt.”

I’m personally a big fan of Hamilton and was surprised that he lasted until the fourth round of the 2018 draft. I assumed his strong Senior Bowl would vault him into the second day of the draft, but the NFL’s poor decision making was the Broncos gain in this case. I expect big things out of Hamilton this upcoming year.

The bad

There really is not a ton of bad to report on Hamilton.

Obviously, Hamilton is not a burner or an overly athletic wide receiver. He has good enough size but doesn’t have the big catch radius that you want, but again, it’s good enough. He has already proven that he can be productive in the NFL despite these “limitations” albeit in a very small sample size.

Denver Broncos v San Francisco 49ers Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images

My biggest concern is his tendency to drop the ball at times. It is something that plagued him at times in college even though he improved on it throughout his time there. I also did not really notice him drop many balls last season, but it is still something to keep an eye on.

Finally, you have the addition of Noah Fant potentially lowering him a bit in the pecking order in the passing game. Sutton and Sanders(if/when he’s healthy) figure to be your top two targets in the passing game while Fant will likely earn a bigger role as the season goes on. So those two things could potentially limit his numbers some this season before likely taking over for Sanders next season.


DaeSean Hamilton on building chemistry with quarterback Joe Flacco

“Joe throws a great ball and he has a strong arm. Really just getting these practices under our belt, getting all the reps together, building the chemistry like you said, really just getting used to one another, and getting used to all the receivers, everyone in the receiving core. Working with Joe so far, it’s been great. Like I said, I love catching his passes. He has a great arm. He has great touch as well, and throughout mini camp and all his OTAs he’s had great command of the offense and delivering a good ball making sure it’s in the right position and the offense is rolling.”

DaeSean Hamilton Highlights

DaeSean Hamilton’s roster status with the Broncos

He is clearly locked into a roster spot and very likely locked in as a starting wide receiver for the Broncos come week one.

Emmanuel Sanders health will likely play into Hamilton’s role as the season goes on. If Sanders is eased back or even placed on the PUP, Hamilton will be your number two receiver in the offense. If Sanders is good to go come week one, he will be your number three/slot receiver come week one.

I think no matter his role in the offense, we will see a productive one from Hamilton and I am anxious to see how well he does.