Kyle Hamilton getting shout outs at the Super Bowl proves he’s already a top safety

Though you probably already knew that.

Baltimore Ravens v San Francisco 49ers
Baltimore Ravens v San Francisco 49ers / Ryan Kang/GettyImages
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2023 was a big year for Kyle Hamilton. After a promising rookie season, Hamilton came into the season with huge expectations and didn't disappoint. After starting all 15 games he appeared in while setting a career-high in sacks (3.0) and interceptions (4), Hamilton was named to the NFL's All-Pro team for the first time in his career, as well as making his first Pro Bowl.

He's quickly become one of the young cornerstones on a Ravens defense that was one of, if not the, best units in football last season. And while he may have flown under the radar during his rookie season in 2022, his play this year garnered plenty of attention and praise. That includes Chiefs safety Justin Reid, who spoke about what kind of a player Hamilton is during a Super Bowl media session this week:

"Kyle Hamilton, he's going to be a star," Reid said. "I mean, the guy's got length. He's physical. He blitzes, he makes plays in zone. He plays man coverage. He had a tall task guarding [Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce] all day. I know from personal experience that it's not easy to do at all. That kid's going to be a star, man. I can't wait to see where his career takes him."

It's high praise from Reid, who's been one of the better safeties in football himself over the last couple seasons in Kansas City. Though, if we're going to nitpick, all the numbers on Hamilton's season would suggest that he's not going to be a star – he already is a star. According to footbally analytics site Pro Football Focus, Hamilton was the 5th best safety in football this year, per his overall defensive grade. He also had the second-best grades in both coverage and pass-rush.

Hamilton has two years left on his contract, the rookie deal he signed when the Ravens took him 14th overall in the 2022 NFL Draft. No safety in football had more sacks than Hamilton, and he ended the year 7th in interceptions. There hasn't been much public conversation about what an extension would look like – or when it'd happen – but given how he's already one of the NFL's premier safeties, it feels more like a matter of when, not if. The Ravens have plenty of contracts to hand out on their young, talented defense this offseason, however, so it's probably not in the cards this year. But given how talented he is, and how much Baltimore's front office values – and rewards – young defensive stars, it's safe to say that Hamilton will be a staple of the Ravens' secondary for years to come.

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