Philadelphia Eagles: 3 Senior Bowl defensive prospects to keep an eye on

Mandatory Credit: Vasha Hunt-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Vasha Hunt-USA TODAY Sports /
2 of 3
Philadelphia Eagles
(Photo by Don Juan Moore/Getty Images) /

Damar Hamlin. 4. player. 866. . Safety. Panthers

If you like Keith Taylor’s size but his lack of ball skills give you pause, allow me to introduce you to his Senior Bowl teammate, Pitt safety Damar Hamlin.

Like Taylor, Hamlin is another 6-foot-plus defensive back who is built to play in a two deep safety set, but the Pittsburgh native has picked off at least one ball in each of his final four seasons with the Panthers.

A redshirt senior who saw his freshman season cut short due to injury, Hamlin initially came to Pitt as a cornerback from neighboring Pittsburgh Central Catholic before developing into one of the Big 10’s premier ball-hawking safeties under Pat Narduzzi; the very same Pat Narduzzi who coached up Avonte Maddox from a three-star recruit to a fourth-round pick by your friendly neighborhood Philadelphia Eagles.

More from Section 215

Fun fact: Maddox and Hamlin actually played together under Narduzzi in 2016 and 2017, signifying a presumed familiarity between the Eagles’ Atlantic Coast scouts and the 6-foot-1, 195-pound safety.

On film, Hamlin uses his size to his advantage as a tackler, keeps his eyes down the field against the pass, and is a willing contributor versus the run when his number gets called. Though he doesn’t do anything at an “elite level” save maybe his ball skills and is kind of a tweener between free, strong, and box safety, that’s ironically what teams typically look for in a Cover 2 safety.

Want proof? Look no further than Hamlin’s Senior Bowl tape, most notably his interception on Appalachian State quarterback Jamie Newman off of a Keith Taylor deflection.

I don’t know about you, but I’d sure like to see those two paired up in a secondary with some combination of Slay, Maddox, Rodney McLeod, K’Von Wallace, and maybe even Jalen Mills moving forward.

With a Twitter handle like ‘Hamlin Island‘ and a highlight reel filled with exciting plays on the ball, there’s a lot to like about Damar Hamlin as a Day 3 pick, especially since he stands a full four inches taller than Avonte Maddox.

Pro comp: Rookie Anthony Harris