2012 NFL Draft Prospect: Could Missouri DT Dom Hamilton Fit The Kansas City Chiefs Needs?

Who doesn’t look a story of a local boy making with the hometown NFL team? The Kansas City Star reports that Missouri defensive tackle Dominique Hamilton is hoping to be the latest Tiger to make an impact in the NFL. With the Kansas City Chiefs having a need at nose tackle, would Hamilton be a good fit? Let’s take a look at what the scouting report (courtesy of ESPN Insiders) has to say.

The first thing the scouts tell us is that Chiefs general manager Scott Pioli won’t have to use a high draft pick if he’s interested in Hamilton. 31 other players rank ahead of him at the defensive tackle spot in the 2012 NFL draft. Therefore, the standards for evaluating Hamilton can be that of a sixth or seventh-round choice.

Hamilton has the build to fill the Chiefs’ key need on the nose, at 6’4”, 313 lbs, but the rest of the scouting report isn’t as promising. Hamilton is panned for his inability to handle double-teams, something scouts see as a consequence of “playing high”. This can be a lack of mental focus on a play-to-play basis, as a defensive tackle leaves the more strongly leveraged crouch to come up too quickly. But some of it is that Hamilton has shown a far greater passion for rushing the passer than stopping the run and chewing up double-teams. His strongest attribute is seen as his ability to bull-rush and to make an effective rip move (bringing his arm up underneath an offensive lineman’s shoulder to get position.

The result of this style of play is that if Hamilton is going to make it in the NFL (and candidly, it’s hard to read the report and be optimistic) it’s more likely to be in a 4-3 scheme where the defensive front is counted on to generate the pass rush. One sentence from the scouts says it all—“could struggle if asked to line up at nose tackle in a base three-man front.”

There you go. Hamilton has the build to be a nose tackle, but nothing else is his skill set recommends him to Pioli and head coach Romeo Crennel. The local boy makes good story is a nice thought, but not one that’s workable in Kansas City.

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