‘Baby-face’ Kyle Hamilton emerging as top playmaker in NFL

OWINGS MILLS — Ravens pass game coordinator/secondary coach Chris Hewitt said looks can be deceiving with safety Kyle Hamilton.

“He does everything. He covers, he blitzes, he tackles, there’s nothing that that kid can’t do,” Hewitt said. “A lot of things that people don’t realize about him is, don’t let the baby face fool you, he’ll try to rip your face off. He’s a great player.”

Indeed, Hamilton has emerged as one of the Ravens’ top playmakers on defense.

The second-year player and first-round pick from Notre Dame has three sacks and two interceptions in 12 games this season. He is also second on the team with eight tackles for a loss and tied for first with cornerback Brandon Stephens with nine passes defensed.

In nickel packages, Hamilton has been the designated player to get to the quarterback, a role he has embraced in the NFL.

“I didn’t blitz that much in college and in high school,” he said. “That’s the only level I’ve kind of been blitzing at, and it’s fun. [You’re] back there, and the only job you have is to go get a sack [and] go hit a quarterback. So, I feel like it’s kind of like pressing somebody in basketball. [You] hopefully make them nervous, make [them make] a bad decision [or] something like that, because when we disguise our blitzes really well, it’s kind of a surprise to the quarterback when we do end up blitzing.

“So, we try to keep them on their toes and show our blitzes and get out of it and stuff like that. As a nickel, I’m sure you can ask ‘Art’ [Arthur Maulet] the same thing; he’ll tell you that it’s fun.”

Ravens safety Kyle Hamilton (14) does pushups on the sidelines after not making an interception against the Seattle Seahawks during the third quarter at M&T Bank Stadium. Photo: Jessica Rapfogel-USA Today Sports

Hamilton leads all other players in the 2023 Pro Bowl Games voting for strong safety. 

Not that he wants to participate in those activities.

“It’s cool. At the same time, we still have five games to go until the playoffs start, and that’s when our season starts in my mind,” Hamilton said. “It’s a one-week season going to the playoffs, but right now, we have to focus on finishing out the season.

“Realistically, I don’t want to play in the Pro Bowl. I want to play in the Super Bowl. That’s a mindset that everybody here has, and it’ll be cool to be nominated for it, for sure, and I’ll be thankful if that does happen, but not the priority at this point.”

He is getting a reputation around the NFL as a playmaker, especially among his teammates, and there is still room to grow.

“The guy plays like his hair [is] on fire. He’s all over the field, sideline to sideline, and I love it” defensive end/outside linebacker Jadeveon Clowney said. “I love playing with him because of the way he plays the game. He’s physical; he can run up and hit you; he can cover you. He can do just about anything out there, and I just like playing with players like that.”

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