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Post Draft Analysis: K.J. Hamler, WR, Denver Broncos

Penn State wide receiver K.J. Hamler is a speedy wide receiver but did the Broncos get a steal?

Welcome to my post draft analysis on K.J. Hamler. This should be more of a controversial pick then has been thought although the Denver Broncos had a very good draft to overlook it. The pick might have been more confusing instead of controversial but I will let you decide.

Overview on K.J. Hamler

K.J. Hamler best attribute is speed. He has been clocked in the 40 around a 4.40. He has been used mostly as an explosive slot target due to his crazy separation bursts. Now he does have a problem with his routes and has a unbelievable drop rate of 16.9%. Due to his build there will be durability concerns. He mostly relies on speed for has YAC but yards after first contact won’t happen at the next level. To wrap it up, he is mostly relied on speed. Hamler will be a high risk high reward pick to say the least.

Strengths

  • He will stretch the field from the slot with his four gears of speed.
  • Explosive speed ranging in the 4.4/40
  • Uses his gear shifting speed to allow huge separation bursts
  • Uses long ball separation to defeat any coverage
  • He can also use separation for crossing routes

Weaknesses

  • Small frame with durability concerns
  • Redistributing weight for redirecting routes
  • Physically dominated underneath
  • lacks focus and labored route stems
  • Terrible drop rate
  • Ball tracking skills and cradling needs work

Why Pick K.J. Hamler

Before I talk about why he is a reach, here is why I think Hamler was picked by the Denver Broncos in the second round. He is a super fast slot receiver with uncanny bursts of separation. He has a knack for the big play downfield and can be dangerous after the catch.

After saying all that you might have to wonder why he is a reach as a second rounder. He is only 5’11 and 178 pounds which is very undersized. His weight is in the 5th percentile of all the receivers in the league. Don’t expect him to make hits after catch.

Once again I will mention his drop rate because it is astounding. Hamler’s drop rate is 16.9% in 2019. His dominator rate ranked him at the 56th percentile among all NFL receivers at a 37.1.

The main reason this is a reach and should never have even been a thought is who the Broncos picked in the first round. The Broncos selected Alabama wide receiver Jerry Jeudy in the first round. Why would they select two receivers that can primary work from the slot? They already have a hand full of receivers and Juedy would be perfect in the slot. What would Hamler’s roll be? All he could be is competition for a receiver spot or have him return kicks which he can do.

If the Broncos really wanted two receivers in the first two rounds they could have went for a more high key roll receiver. Baylor wide receiver Denzel Mims was projected a first round pick but went after Hamler. They at least would eliminate the drop rate and Mims can operate at any receiver point.

The Broncos should have waited for another slot receiver. They could have waited for Tyler Johnson from Minnesota which is a fine slot receiver with a great catch rate. The Broncos decision to lead with receivers out of the gate was a poor decision. This was the deepest wide receiver draft the NFL has ever had and they dropped the ball on this pick.

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