20/20: KJ Hamler
Welcome to the 20/20 series. As part of our continued Dynasty Scouts coverage and in preparation for the NFL Combine, we profile 20 of the top incoming rookies of the class of 2020 by giving you 20 facts you must know.
1.) Player Name – KJ Hamler
2.) College – Penn State
3.) Height/Weight – 5’’9″, 176 pounds
4.) Birth Date – 07/08/1999 (20 years old)
5.) Class – Junior
6.) Basic college stats:
Courtesy of sports-reference.com.
7.) NFL Draft round projection – Hamler is currently DLF’s eighth-ranked rookie wide receiver.
Players of Hamler’s stature have a role in the NFL. Unfortunately, they very rarely profile as an outside number one. We did see Marquise Brown – built similarly to Hamler – drafted in the first round just last year. Nonetheless, day two is more realistic for Hamler.
8.) Current NFL comparison – Baltimore’s Brown is the play-style NFL comparison. Both players are dynamic with the ball in their hands and have the ability to take the top off of any defense, creating separation with pure speed.
9.) Best possible destination – Hamler is a field stretcher. Just about every team in the NFL could use a player with his skill set. But let’s find him a home based on the NFL teams that lack this type of speed and already have a big bodied possession-type wideout.
The Eagles, Saints, Packers and Broncos are teams that could all benefit from having some big-time speed on the outside to free up room for their other receivers and tight-ends.
10.) Worst possible destination – A team without a true number one wide receiver – Buffalo, New York Jets, and Las Vegas Raiders all come to mind.
Not only do these teams lack a true number one, they all have quarterbacks with question marks surrounding their accuracy, willingness to throw deep or head coaching ineptitude.
11.) Best current skill – Speed and acceleration. Hamler has an ability to not just run fast in a straight line, he plays fast. He’s dynamic in and out of his breaks, he can reach top-speed in an instant. If you give him a crease he’s a legit threat to take the ball to the house on any given play.
Last spring, Penn State coaches clocked KJ’s 40-yard dash speed at 4.28 seconds.
12.) Skill that needs to be improved – Toughness. He alligator arms passes far too often. He is not going to deliver a blow to anyone, and that’s ok – that’s not his game. If he’s going to succeed in the intermediate game he’s going to have to toughen up.
13.) Past/current rookie ADP – Right now based on some early rookie mock draft ADP courtesy of the great Ryan McDowell, Hamler is being selected around pick 18. He’s going after wide receivers like Tyler Johnson, Justin Jefferson and Bryan Edwards. He’s going before receivers: Antonio Gandy-Golden, Brandon Aiyuk and Michael Pittman Jr.
14.) Projected dynasty value – He is a player that probably won’t develop into a consistent fantasy asset. He will have to become a true outlier in order to fulfill a Tyreek Hill level prophecy for a player of his size.
He’s likely to face a steep learning curve at the next level with cornerbacks getting physical with him at the line of scrimmage.
15.) Rocket pack – We toss words like elite around far too often when talking about players. I still wouldn’t put that descriptor on Hamler, but his speed is much higher than your average speedsters. He can absolutely fly. When he sees a little daylight, he is going to hit and then it’s lights out.
This is the trait that’s going to provide him with an early opportunity at the next level. Check it out below.
— Logic Sports (@LogicSports3) September 30, 2018
16.) Recruiting profile – Coming out of IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida as four-star wide receiver recruit, he was the 47th-ranked position player in the 2017 class.
17.) Special teams ability – Proficient in both the kick return and punt return game, this additional skill set could allow him to see immediate playing time from day one as a return man.
18.) Creative offenses – Working in Hamler’s favor is the fact that the NFL game is changing. Coaches are open to using a player with his profile more than in years past. Don’t mistake his size or style as sort of a gadget player. He’s a wide receiver that can play the position.
His versatility and play making ability will make him a valuable asset for an NFL team. How that will project to scoring fantasy points is the bigger question.
19.) Diminutive and durable – Despite his size, injury concerns really aren’t an issue for Hamler. He didn’t miss one game during his playing time at Penn State, and he appeared fully recovered from the ACL tear that forced him to miss his entire senior season of high school.
20.) The Intangibles – Here’s a quote and some back story from his high school days:
IMG Academy “used GPS-like sensing devices attached to players to monitor their practice output. Based on data from those devices, IMG coach Kevin Wright knows that a normal receiver during a usual practice covers about 2,800-3,000 yards of ground.
However, during his seven years as coach, one guy averaged more than any other. ‘KJ’s was something off the charts,’ says Wright. [He] averaged about 4,200 yards. ‘He was doing the same drills as everyone else,’ says Wright, ‘but he never walks anywhere and he’d catch the ball and run an extra 10 yards.'”
Hamler is going to work at the next level, and that’s all you can ask for a young player – especially one that will have to be on top of his game to make a consistent impact for our fantasy teams.