Kyle Hamilton Welcomes the Challenges of NFL Adjustment

As the Ravens’ top draft pick this year, Kyle Hamilton wanted to make a good first impression at rookie minicamp. He accomplished that goal, moving around the secondary like a player who felt comfortable in his surroundings.

Hamilton doesn’t pretend that it will be easy making the jump from Notre Dame to the NFL, but the 14th-overall pick is eager for the challenge. The Ravens have big plans for Hamilton as a versatile safety they can use in multiple ways, and that means he has plenty to learn between now and Week 1.

“It’s definitely challenging,” Hamilton said. “Even the stuff we’re doing right now, where I’m just learning both safety spots is challenging. It’s the NFL – that’s what guys get paid to do. So, I’m up for the task, but I’m just going to rely on coaches and vets to help me out, whether that be playbook stuff or mentally how to navigate the game and the play. Yes, it’s going to be a challenge, but I’m ready for it.”

Hamilton is getting his first look at the Ravens’ defensive system, and can already see the difference.

“Pretty different from Notre Dame, I would say – communication-wise, obviously terminology-wise,” Hamilton said. “We didn’t run a lot of Cover 3 at Notre Dame, and pretty much, that’s most of what we’ve been doing here so far. Obviously, it’s a vanilla version of it, because we’re kind of just getting a taste. But yes, it’s fairly different, but there’s still a lot of defense to learn.”

Defensive Coordinator Mike Macdonald surprised Hamilton early in practice by talking to him through the microphoned helmet that the rookie safety was wearing. Hamilton didn’t realize that Macdonald’s voice would be in his headset.

“They didn’t give me a warning,” Hamilton said with a chuckle. “Coach Macdonald said something, and … I had a jump scare, because I didn’t know that he was going to be talking to me just yet. But I got used to it. The first time I heard it, I had no clue what he was saying. Now, I can kind of identify it pretty quickly. So, it’s a pretty cool nuance to NFL football that I appreciate for sure.”

Hamilton plans to soak up his rookie experience day by day, eager to learn and not burdened by expectations.

“I’m poised to leave whatever mark I will,” Hamilton said. “Hopefully, it’s a good one. I’m pretty confident that it will be, but I’m just excited to be here and be able to perform for a great franchise like this.”

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