The Baltimore Ravens Mason Rudolphed safety Chuck Clark last year. In the offseason, they added a starter in free agency in Marcus Williams and then used their first-round draft pick on Kyle Hamilton. If Rudolph wanted to get traded—he denies having asked for a trade—he fared no better in 2022 than did Clark, though the latter still got to start all year.
That wasn’t going to be the case in 2023, and so Clark renewed his request to be traded, which was granted. He recently told reporters that he was “ready to get out of” Baltimore and felt his position was not being respected.
But the Ravens are fine with all that, because they have their starters. Hamilton, who wasn’t even expected to be on the board at 14 when they drafted, should be ready to take over. He said as much. “I feel like I can slide into that role for sure and perform at a high level”, the second-year player recently told the team’s website.
“I feel like that’s what the Ravens drafted me for and that’s what I’m here for, and I feel like I can definitely produce”, he added. “I don’t think I was the best safety in the league last year”, he noted, but continued, “I know what I can do in this league and I’m teeing it up for the future”.
The top-rated safety last year out of Notre Dame, Hamilton fell in part due to a run on wide receivers just ahead of him, with four being taken between the eighth and 12th selections. But Hamilton is a versatile defender and spent most of his rookie year playing in the slot, something he’s willing to continue to do if it’s what the Ravens need from him.
“You’ve just got to get in where you fit in and I feel like I can fit in at a lot of spots”, he said. “If they need me at nickel, for sure. If they need me at dime, no doubt. Safety. If they need me at three-technique, I’ll try to make it happen”.
Baltimore is probably not going to ask Hamilton and his 219-pound frame to line up against many offensive guards this year, but it’s nice that he would be willing to give it a go all the same. Granted, that’s the same thing every non-established non-veteran player says whenever he is asked about his willingness to move around. The last player I can recall shooting down the idea of moving around is Joe Haden.
In spite of the fact that he was not in the starting lineup last season, Hamilton still logged 548 defensive snaps, registering 62 tackles, among them four for loss. He had two sacks, a forced fumble, and five passes defensed. While he did not officially record an interception, he did have one negated by a penalty by his former teammate, Clark. He also started in the postseason against the Bengals, registering nine tackles and a forced fumble and recovery.