Name: DaeSean Hamilton
Position: Wide Receiver
Pro Team: Denver Broncos
College Team: Penn State
Draft Status: Fourth round, 113th overall
- HEIGHT: 6’1’’
- WEIGHT: 203 Pounds
- ARM LENGTH: 31’’
- HANDS: 9 3/8’’
- 40-YARD-DASH: 4.57 (Penn State Pro Day)
- THREE CONE: 6.84
- VERTICAL JUMP: 34 1/2’’
- BROAD JUMP: 118’’
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Hamilton is part of the new class of big slot wide receivers. While not possessing elite agility like most other slot receivers, his route running skills give him the ability to separate consistently.
He does well adjusting to poorly thrown balls; a lesson learned from his early collegiate career with Christian Hackenberg. Routes are precise, and Hamilton snaps in and out of his breaks with crisp sharp angles. He’s able to track the football and make adjustments to win contested catches through contact.
Hamilton is a high character player who was selected as team captain by teammates. He was born in Okinawa, Japan, and both parents were in the Marine Corps. In high school, he volunteered his free time to work with his brother, who has autism, in his special education classes. Scouts have reported him to have received high character marks.
Lower-level athletic testing means that Hamilton will have to continue to improve technique to compete at the next level. He doesn’t appear to have that top end speed to challenge consistently on deep passes.
He’s dealt with concentration drops at times, a few of which occurred when he was wide open with no defenders in front of him.
Hamilton will likely step in immediately, with a chance to shine as the slot wide receiver. The Broncos already have Emmanuel Sanders and Demaryius Thomas entrenched as the top options in Denver. Courtland Sutton will slowly work to replace one of the top stars, leaving Hamilton to work inside.
Bennie Fowler vacated 56 targets and 575 snaps when he went to Chicago. There is little reason to be worried about other wide receivers threatening Hamilton for reps at this point on the Broncos’ roster. The Broncos were 12th in the NFL in pass attempts in 2017 with 566 attempts and finished 17th in 2016. Fowler was Denvers’ predominant slot wide receiver in 2017 and Hamilton steps easily into a fairly attractive role as a rookie.
I could see a situation where the team decides to shift Sanders into the slot to give Sutton playing time, but that is purely speculation. The team should also see great strides at the quarterback position with Case Keenum stepping in at the position. Broncos management hopes this is an improvement over Trevor Siemian, Brock Osweiler, and Paxton Lynch.
The early word out of camp is that Demaryius Thomas has been seeing some work in the slot. That could eat into some of Hamilton’s work if Sutton and Sanders then get work on the outside.
During the initial portion of his career, he won’t see a large portion of the Broncos’ market share in the passing game. The vacated snaps from Fowler are a positive for Hamilton to get on the field soon for the team.
I don’t see Hamilton developing into a top-level fantasy asset. He does have some draft capital as a fourth-round pick. Denver can easily move on from both Sanders and Thomas in 2019. Thomas carries a $17.5m dollar cap hit in 2019 but as a pre-June 1 cut will free up $14m in cap savings. Sanders has a $12.9m cap in 2019 but can be cut pre-June 1 with $10.2m in cap savings. I see the team re-signing one and moving on from the other.
If Hamilton can establish himself as the slot receiver and build more work, he could become a solid wide receiver three in fantasy, as one of Thomas or Sanders is phased out and Sutton grows into his role.
I was struggling to find a solid NFL comparison to Hamilton until I remembered Matt Harmon discussing him and that he was reminded of Steve Johnson, former Bills and 49ers wide receiver. Like Johnson, Hamilton wasn’t an elite level athlete. Hamilton did score better in the agility drills, however.
Both were great with contested catches and while not elite physical athletes, were masters at their craft and won with technique. Johnson was able to post three straight 1,000-yards seasons before injuries derailed his career.
I’ve heard some comparisons of Hamilton to Sanders, but Sanders was an elite-level athlete, posting a 4.41 40-yard dash with upper-echelon agility testing. One other comp was Pierre Garcon by Matt Miller; a player who was about on the level with Hamilton’s athletic testing and has carved out a strong career.
PROJECTED RANGE FOR ROOKIE DRAFTS
With a rookie ADP of 30.00, you’ll likely have to invest in the early third round if targeting Hamilton. In a rather weak wide receiver class, it makes sense to target Hamilton in round three over Equanimeous St. Brown in round two. In dynasty startup drafts, he has an ADP of 182.67 in July, right around Zay Jones and J’Mon Moore.
He steps into a fairly attractive situation taking over the vacated snaps from Fowler, and with improved quarterback play in Denver, he could produce in year one as a rookie. I would only target Hamilton in dynasty formats, however, or deep leagues in redraft with the possibility of injury opening up more opportunity.
As the talented rookie running backs thin out, simply wait on a wide receiver and target Hamilton late in rookie drafts. The Broncos are a team that should quickly improve in passing efficiency in 2018 and, attached to Keenum for the next few seasons, Hamilton has upside as older players in the wide receiver position are phased out in Denver.
Pete is a Western Washington University (Go Vikings! Undefeated at Football since 2009!) History grad with a doctorate in dynasty football, from a certificate he bought online. He prefers stats and analytics but realizes film grinding is an important part of the process. Dabbles in "Mild Takes" and believes in the process.
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