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2020 NFL Draft Prospect: WR K.J. Hamler

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The Ravens offense could use another speedster at wide receiver, and this draft class has plenty of them

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: DEC 28 Cotton Bowl Classic - Memphis v Penn State Photo by Andrew Dieb/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Up until the commencement of the 2020 NFL Draft on April 23rd, I will now focus on analyzing prospects that the Ravens could select with their two second-round picks. The Ravens are very well positioned to acquire talent early on in the draft.

In one of the deepest wide receiver draft classes in recent memory, GM Eric DeCosta himself said that at least one wide receiver will be drafted by the Ravens in this year’s draft. The second round in particular will have plenty of talent that the Ravens should take advantage of. When on the clock in the second, expect the Ravens to target a speedy playmaker rather than a big-bodied receiver or a red zone threat.

The Ravens are looking to continue building a track team-type of offense. Outside of Henry Ruggs III, though, no speedy receiver is worth a first-round draft pick. That is where K.J. Hamler comes into the equation as an option in the second round.

Hamler has the ability to take the top off of defenses. Having Hamler alongside Marquise Brown would create an even more electric offense with the ability to gain yardage on chunk plays and score in a hurry. At the same time, with both Brown and Hamler on the field, both defending safeties would have to play high to prevent the deep ball, which will give guys like Mark Andrews, Willie Snead IV and Miles Boykin more targets underneath. It would also be easier to run the ball by taking an extra safety out of the play.

Not only would adding Hamler give the Ravens another bonafide deep threat, but it would also keep defenses on their toes and guessing.


WR K.J. Hamler, Penn State

Height: 5-foot-9

Weight: 176

2019: 56 receptions, 904 yards, 8 TDs, 16.1 YPR, 13 carries, 43 yards, 3.3 YPC

Although Hamler didn't have a prolific stat line like many other top receiver prospects, he isn't the type of prospect that'll have eighty-plus receptions with 1,300 yards. At the same time, Hamler was an absolute game changer while at Penn State. Despite his playmaking abilities, Hamler does have a number of issues that may take a while to refine and iron out.


Strengths:

  • Has Henry Ruggs-like speed to zoom past defensive backs and wreak havoc
  • Easily accelerates; it doesn't take long for him to go from 0-100
  • Is very shifty in the open field and can make guys miss
  • Has experience working both in the slot and on the outside
  • His agility, suddenness, and footwork would be how Hamler beats press coverage
  • Can catch something as modest as a slant pass and take it to the house
  • Very strong deep-ball tracking abilities
  • Performed modestly against top cornerback prospect Jeff Okudah this past season
  • Has an intimidation factor in that his speed and deep ball skills made cornerbacks play with significant cushion, which opened up drags and slants for him to use his speed and shiftiness after the catch

Weaknesses:

  • Had a 16.9% career drop rate in college
  • His small frame will raise durability concerns
  • Will have trouble with more physical corners who can overpower him at the LOS
  • Has trouble catching balls in traffic
  • Is not a jump ball specialist; you can't count on him winning 50-50 balls
  • Is more of a body-catcher than a hands catcher; needs to gain more confidence with his hands

Floor Comparison: Phillip Dorsett

Ceiling Comparison: DeSean Jackson

How Hamler fits on the Ravens:

Adding another deep threat receiver to the Ravens offense would add another level of unpredictability. What the Ravens want to avoid is defenses becoming more familiar with patterns in their offense. Having both Hamler and Marquise Brown on the field at the same time will make it much easier to move the ball.

This past season, it was evident about how much of an impact “Hollywood” had on a game. Adding another receiver of his caliber will create, at the very minimum, less pressure for Brown to constantly be relied upon to catch deep balls. Also, should one of the speedsters get hurt, at least one deep threat can play.

Whenever the Ravens played without Brown last year, their offense lacked speed, which made the run game more predictable. The Ravens have, in some capacity, met with Hamler during the pre-draft process. If Hamler is on the board and Baltimore is on the clock, there is a big possibility he becomes a Raven.