In this first edition of Mirror Image, I will be breaking down a potential NFL Draft pick in Adrian Hamilton of Prairie View A&M. Adrian is a player that pops out on film, when you watch him. He is faster, stronger and better than the competition he faced this season. I will be comparing Adrian to a player already in the NFL, who in this case is John Abraham of the Atlanta Falcons. Find out why I believe they compare so well, and watch the highlight videos to compare yourself. Make sure to leave comments and post what you think of this potential draft pick.
Athleticism/Strength: Adrian has very good balance and stays low when rushing the passer. He can beat the offensive linemen because of his upper body strength. He has some quickness off the edge, but isn't a speedster. Adrian stands at 6'3 and weighs in at 255 which are great height and size for a DE/OLB. He looks like a gym rat, is in very good shape and his body is chiseled. He changes direction well; he can stop on a dime to make an adjustment on run plays as well as getting to the quarterback. He is strong as an ox coming off the snap and uses his hands extremely well when getting off blockers. He’s a menacing terror on the outside with good, natural instincts as a pass-rusher and adequate in run support.
Biggest knock: Adrian had a very unorthodox style of running. He looked like he had never been trained on running before. When he was at the Casino Del Sol Bowl that looked like it had changed. His first forty that he ran was a 4.95 but he has since ran in the 4.72 range. He told me he is trying to get into the 4.60 range, which would be a huge for the SWAC All-Time leading sack record holder.
Technique/Intangibles: Adrian can set the edge extremely well. He has so much power on a bull rush, that 320 pound offensive tackles have problems with his upper body strength. His spin move is something textbook, he is so quick on the spin that the linemen cannot get their hands on him to slow him down. His rip move is so pretty because he sets up the linemen with a hard jab step to the outside before swinging his long arm under the linemen’s inside pads. He has been used inside on certain run plays because he can hold his own on double teams and uses his moves to get past numerous defenders. He has done this from the standing position, with his hand in the dirt and on all sides and alignments on the line. He is good coming out the snap, and places his hands in the right place. He shows great leverage, moves and is knowledgeable of proper angles when working off the line. He has a knack for getting past the offensive line and making plays in the backfield.
Biggest Knock: People’s perception of level of competition. The perception is that a player coming from a SWAC or smaller school does not measure up to the talent level of a division one school. To me, that is a bad misconception, both Robert Mathis and Chris Gocong are the only other players to ever surpass 20 sacks in the regular season for an FCS school. Both have gone on to have very promising NFL careers.
What people tend to realize is that Adrian Hamilton signed his letter of intent to play for Oklahoma State. After they asked him to grey shirt, he ended up walking on and playing for Texas Tech. You don’t just walk on to a Division one program that features Michael Crabtree and Graham Harrell by not being good. Adrian couldn’t afford the school anymore and had to leave because he was paying for everything out of his pocket. So this is not a kid that can’t compete with others, but a player who just has not had the opportunity to do so, let’s make that clear.
Resemblance: Adrian reminds me of John Abraham of the Atlanta Falcons. Abraham is a player who is relentless, has a great motor, and is great at stopping a play in the backfield. Adrian has the moves already to be a successful pass rusher. He will need to work on a few things in the early stages of his career, but could be a very effective pass rusher on situational pass downs. When you look at John Abraham, he is similar in size 6’4 and weighs 263 pounds. Abraham has put up great sack totals, with a total of 112 sacks. Coming out of school in South Carolina, Abraham was a similar player to Adrian. I can see Adrian having comparable success to Abraham in the NFL, if he is in the right system.
John Abraham - GameTime (via GameTimeGridiron)
I was fortunate to get a hold of Robert Mathis (Colts DE) who etched his name in The SWAC record book with a 20 sack season in 2002 while playing for Alabama A&M. When I notified Robert that his sack record had been broken by Adrian Hamilton he had this to say:
"Adrian better get drafted in the third round or better, because he is a straight up baller. I hope they don’t hate on him because of his school." Mathis then went on to say "Make sure you tell him all small school athletes had to go through it, but it will make him that much better of a professional."