As a top safety in the 2022 draft, Kyle Hamilton arrived in Baltimore with significant fanfare.
According to Pro Football Focus, he lived up to it, earning the top grade among safeties across the NFL. He doesn't agree, though, and is setting his expectations even higher in 2023.
"I played pretty well towards the end of the season, but being bluntly honest, I don't think I was the best safety in the league last year," Hamilton said during an appearance on the Ravens' The Lounge podcast. "It's just how the numbers go and I have a lot to improve on. At the same time, I know what I can do in this league and I'm teeing it up for the future."
Part of Hamilton's reasoning includes the fact that he didn't quite play safety in Baltimore's defense in 2022. Hamilton spent more time in the slot and near the line of scrimmage than in a traditional safety location, and also didn't see consistent starting snaps until the latter portion of the season.
In his second season, Hamilton will occupy safety more as it is typically defined, thanks in part to Baltimore's decision to trade Chuck Clark to the Jets in the offseason. That means Hamilton's window for proving the Ravens correct in selecting him in the first round will officially be open.
"I feel like I can slide into that role for sure and perform at a high level," Hamilton said. "I feel like that's what the Ravens drafted me for and that's what I'm here for, and I feel like I can definitely produce."
Hamilton's experience playing at a position other than traditional safety means the Ravens can still get creative when they desire. Hamilton would welcome it alongside his new role.
"It's just different seeing the game from different levels, not backpedaling as much, and just getting in the groove," Hamilton said. "That's what OTAs are for. I have a lot to learn in both areas, but I feel like if I can put it all together, it will be really good."