2017 NFL DRAFT

Darius Hamilton, DT

School: Rutgers  |  Conference: BIG10
College Experience: Senior  |  Hometown: West Paterson, NJ
Height/Weight: - / - lbs.
Projected Ranking
OverallPositionProj. Rnd.
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Player Lowdown

Combine Results
40 Yd 20 Yd 10 Yd 225 Bench Vertical jump Broad Shuttle 3-Cone Drill
Workout Results
40 Yd 20 Yd 10 Yd 225 Bench Vertical jump Broad Shuttle 3-Cone Drill
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Mock Draft Expert Analysis

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Player Overview

Hamilton signed with Rutgers amid great fanfare as the prodigal son of New York Giants standout Keith "Hammer" Hamilton and star of Don Bosco Prep, a program in Ramsey, New Jersey that ended the 2011 season ranked No. 1 overall in several national polls, including USA Today.

He registered 17 tackles as a reserve as a true freshman before emerging as a legitimate star in his own right a year later, recording 48 tackles, including a team-leading 11.5 tackles for loss and 4.5 sacks. Hamilton recorded similar numbers a year later (45 tackles, 11.5 tackles for loss) while posting a career-high six sacks, earning Honorable Mention All-Big Ten accolades and the team's Defensive MVP following the season.

And that's where things get complicated.

Hamilton suffered an undisclosed right leg injury prior to the 2015 season which sidelined him for the first two games of the year. Eager to cap his career in style (he later admitted that he returned earlier than perhaps he should have), Hamilton aggravated the injury in his season debut against Penn State September 19. Despite recording zero tackles in his only game before opting to take a medical redshirt, the Rutgers staff named him a team captain for the second consecutive year.

On the surface, Hamilton was even more productive in 2016 than before, leading the defensive line with a career-high 56 stops despite almost constant double teams. He was lacking in the big plays which characterized his earlier campaigns, however, recording just 2.5 tackles for loss and half a sack.

When healthy, Hamilton has shown the burst and power combination to project as a three-technique in the NFL. His lack of ideal size and questionable health, however, could push him much lower down the board than his hype suggests.

STRENGTHS: Hamilton doesn't have the height of most interior defensive linemen, but he is far from small with a thick torso and the speed to get upfield quickly to penetrate. He has NFL movement skills with a flexible body type to bend and make sharp cuts, playing with a high motor and emotion whenever he steps on the football field. He shows good initial burst to split gaps and is more powerful than his frame suggests, showing core strength, flexibility and toughness in fighting through double-teams. A three-time team captain, the only one in school history. Father was a defensive lineman and 12-year veteran with the New York Giants (1992-2003).

WEAKNESSES: Listed at 6-3, 286 pounds by Rutgers but appears smaller than that. Heavier (with more weight around his middle) and did not appear to have the same burst and lateral agility in 2016 following the injury, raising concerns about his conditioning and long term recovery. Good power and use of leverage to hold up to double teams at the college level but will struggle in this role (at this size) versus NFL competition. Average height and awareness to disrupt passing lanes, recording just three pass breakups over his career, all of them in 2013.

IN OUR VIEW: Hamilton is an unusual combination of simultaneously being overrated throughout much of his career and underrated for his production and toughness in 2016. If teams get positive feedback on his injury, he is well worth a Day Three flier pick, showing an intriguing combination of quickness, power and resiliency.

COMPARES TO: George Uko, Denver Broncos: Few defenders have enjoyed success inside in the NFL at Hamilton's size. The 6-3, 284 pound Uko spent a year on Denver's practice squad after a standout career at Southern Cal. If Hamilton is able to regain his explosiveness, a more optimistic comparison could be another former USC star, Titans' Pro Bowl defensive tackle Jurell Casey.

Strengths Weaknesses

 
 
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Player News
09/26/2015 - Rutgers defensive tackle Darius Hamilton is out for the rest of the season with a lower body injury. The Scarlet Knights made the announcement before Saturday's game against Kansas. Hamilton missed spring practice, and was seen wearing a brace on his right knee during the team's open practice in August. After being listed as "out" on the team's initial injury report last week, Hamilton was in for about 15 plays against Penn State. Hamilton said he "was out there before I should have been out there, but that was on me. Hamilton is the son of former New York Giants player Keith Hamilton. - AP Sports
 

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