Cobi Hamilton Scouting Report: NFL Outlook for Arkansas WR
Sixth Round: 197th Pick
The Arkansas Razorbacks wide receiver corps was good enough in 2012 to have three of its members drafted in the first four rounds. Cobi Hamilton was the most talented receiver left to give quarterback Tyler Wilson a fighting chance against SEC defenses.
Was his play good enough to possibly go on the second day of the 2013 NFL draft?
Hamilton has an excellent combination of size and speed and can create separation deep. He is fast enough to run away from safeties in the open field and he has a few tricks up his sleeve after the catch. Hamilton's leggy frame disguises his speed; he seems to sneak up on corners who don't respect his jets before leaving them in the dust.
There is a lack of physical edge and precision in Hamilton's game. He rounds routes, loses concentration on contested balls, fumbles after the catch and goes down easily on most any tackle attempt. Hamilton has subpar explosion and quickness, and he doesn't make strong plays on the ball in flight. Hamilton is also a marginal blocker, and his height advantage is somewhat negated by his so-so game in the air.
Hamilton measured in at 6'2", 212 pounds with a 4.56 40 time, but his pad speed is better than that. His 29.5" vertical and 8'11" broad jump were at the bottom of the wide receiver class, and his film confirms the explosion deficiency. As an athlete, he is limited to being a big straight-line long strider.
In a rough year for the program, Hamilton stepped up and performed like a true No. 1 receiver. He does struggle with concentration lapses and sometimes shows little effort as a blocker on run plays.
Hamilton was mostly used as an outside receiver on downfield routes, but he also lined up in the slot at times and seemed to understand how to find space in the middle of the field. He didn't run many quick-hitting timing routes that got the ball in his hands close to the line of scrimmage.
Hamilton doesn't get off of the blocks with explosion, but he does eat up big cushions very quickly. When he is pressed, Hamilton sometimes demonstrates the ability to ward off the attack, but he can also be re-routed more easily than a wide receiver of his size should be.
You won't see very many sharp route breaks from Hamilton. He does understand how to use the cushion he is given to create separation on short and intermediate routes, but Hamilton's threat of speed creates room to operate more than precise routes. He sometimes lacks sideline awareness on his out routes, but Hamilton also exhibits great instincts to drift to open space when he gets inside of his man on a route in the middle of the field.
Hamilton isn't a natural hands-catcher, letting a good amount of balls get to his body. He has drops due to concentration issues, but Hamilton also fails to secure contested balls because of body-catching. He is prone to fumbling after the catch and doesn't catch well outside of his frame.
Going up in the air for high passes or otherwise making fluid in-flight adjustments isn't really in Hamilton's game. He also fades away from the ball a bit when he does have to leap, and defenders breaking underneath him often disrupt his concentration. He has a very small effective catch radius, especially for a 6'2" receiver. Hamilton will take a hit to make a catch over the middle of the field.
Run After Catch
Hamilton's speed makes him a threat to take the ball to the house if he can catch the ball in stride. He is somewhat fluid when transitioning from making the catch to running after the reception. Hamilton doesn't run with great strength or balance, so he's not going to break many tackles or get yards after contact. He isn't elusive, but Hamilton does know when to cut back against the grain to render a tackler irrelevant and he'll occasionally will use an effective stiff arm to keep a tackler at bay.
While he does execute some blocks, Hamilton sometimes shows no effort and doesn't have the strength to sustain his blocks.
Scheme Versatility/Future Role
Hamilton seems to project best a third wide receiver a la Laurent Robinson during his time with the Cowboys. His combination of size and speed may get him an audition as a starter, but his game has too many holes to last as an every-down receiver. Hamilton might fit best in a spread or west coast offense that gives him more room to operate in his routes and after the catch.
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