Birthday: January 20, 1981
Strengths: Arkansas free safety Ken Hamlin is a headhunter who flies around the field making big plays for the Razorbacks. He posted eight double-digit tackle games in 2001, including a 19-tackle performance against Tennessee with a fumble recovery thrown in for good measure. Hamlin dominated Arkansas’ game that year with UNLV, when he had 11 tackles, two tackles for loss, half a sack, an interception, two pass deflections, and a fumble recovery. He has started every game of his college career and recorded at least 100 tackles each season.
Hamlin is a physical safety that can come up and play like an extra linebacker and is fast enough to run with the wideouts. He is an explosive hitter with a knack for causing turnovers. At 6’2", Hamlin has the height to match up with taller receivers and plays bigger than his 205 lbs.
Areas for Concern: Hamlin was arrested in May for his second drunken driving offense in 14 months. He plead guilty in July and served 10 days in jail. To the surprise of many observers, Arkansas head coach Houston Nutt chose not to suspend Hamlin, explaining that the jail experience seemed to have had a profound impact on the player and that Hamlin had expressed sincere remorse for his actions.
On the field, Hamlin is a "pure" safety that lacks great man coverage skills. While he has nice size, with his style of play, Hamlin needs to add some bulk to his lanky frame in order to survive the rigors of the long NFL season.
How Would He Look in Steel Blue? Hamlin draws favorable comparisons to former Razorback and Denver Bronco star free safety Steve Atwater and, as a player, would be a great fit for the Texans. He makes big plays and his ability to play up in the box would be a definite asset in Dom Capers‘ zone blitz scheme. However, his off-the-field problems are a major concern.
Bob McNair has made it clear that he wants solid citizens representing his franchise and does not want anyone who will embarrass the organization. Capers’ track record also shows little tolerance for players that he finds he cannot count on, regardless of talent. Hamlin must show that his contrition was genuine and put these problems in his past. He was not considered a character risk when he arrived at Arkansas, having been a member of the National Honor Society and the vice president of his senior class in high school. A fourth-year junior, Hamlin has at least one more year to grow up and rehabilitate his image.
(profile written by Warren DeLuca)
Ken Hamlin’s 2001 Stats G TCK PBU INT FF FR 11 118 10 3 4 3 Ken Hamlin Return to The War Room
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