Take a deep breath Chiefs fans. They did it. A week into free agency the Kansas City Chiefs signed CB and special teams ace Antonio Hamilton. After being undrafted out of South Carolina State in 2016 Hamilton has spent the last four years divided between two teams, two years with the Oakland Raiders and two years with the New York Giants. Over the course of his career, Hamilton has amassed 41 total tackles and four passes defended in his role as a reserve.
Hamilton excels on special teams and particularly his role as a gunner on the punt. Having played 81% of the Giants special teams plays last year, Hamilton was able to put together enough healthy games to carve out a nice season. He has a good initial break out of his stance and is able to create separation and get around the outside. He makes an excellent open-field tackle. Hamilton is a very high effort player and he carries a confident swagger with him every time he steps on the field.
While Hamilton will make most of his plays on special teams, he will also make a nice depth addition to the secondary. He won’t be an every-down player but we should expect to see him on the field some. This past season against the Philadelphia Eagles Hamilton recorded four pass deflections and showed some good ability to play in man coverage schemes. Above he recognizes the TE break into his post route and quickly accelerates to go in and break the pass up. He shows good aggression and appears to have fluid hips when he goes in on his break.
In the clip below we see an example of Hamilton playing some tight man coverage. He read the screen well and is able to make a play on the ball. Hamilton has some decent short-burst quickness and takes good angles and gets physical at the point of attack. Hamilton will likely be the Chiefs fifth or sixth corner on the roster but while he is capable of being on the field and making a few plays he will be most likely be an addition for the specials teams unit.
The clip above shows the kind of open field range that Hamilton possesses coming from the opposite side of the field to make the tackle and prevent a larger gain. His best trait as a player is his ability to track where the ball is going and make a play. He goes all out every play and plays with good aggression.
Hamilton will not only be on punt but we can expect to see him on the kickoff team as well. Games can be won and lost on special teams so Dave Toub should be pleased that his unit will now have another player to help make stops and prevent big plays.
In the clip above we see Hamilton down a punt inside the five. The Chiefs don’t punt often but when they do this year they should be confident that they will have a player capable of being able to create separation and make a play. The only area of concern for the Chiefs would be is that he has had significant injury problems in the past. He has missed the better parts of two seasons in his career due to having multiple strains of his groin and quad. Obviously the Chiefs brass did their research and felt confident that Hamilton could be a contributor to the roster. According to early reports, he did take a discount to join the Super Bowl champions. This should be encouraging to Chiefs fans. Hamilton knows where he can benefit the team and seems to be ready to be a part of something special.