Popular Features

  • 2020 Dynasty Fantasy Football Rankings
    March 9, 2020
    2020 Post-Combine Dynasty Fantasy Football Rankings

    2020 Post-Combine Dynasty Fantasy Football Rankings After getting through the process of ranking the incoming rookies, it is time to start more seriously thinking about how the incoming players change the construction of dynasty fantasy football rankings. The QB carousel is not quite done spinning yet and won’t until Tom Brady, Philip Rivers and Jameis…

  • 2020 NFL Draft Prospect Profile: Justin Jefferson, LSU
    March 16, 2020
    The Top Machine Learning WR Prospect Will Surprise You

    What Can Machine Learning Tell Us About WR Prospects? One of my favorite parts of draft season is trying to model the incoming prospects. This year, I wanted to try something new, so I dove into the world of machine learning models. Using machine learning to detail the value of a WR prospect is very…

  • NFL RB Prospect Machine Learning
    March 23, 2020
    The 2020 Machine Learning NFL RB Prospect Model

    What Can Machine Learning Tell Us About NFL RB Prospects? Last week, I released some machine learning model results that attempted to predict WR success. This week, I wanted to do the same for NFL RB Prospects. Evaluating an RB prospect before the NFL draft requires careful examination as draft capital is a huge part…

  • Three Quarterbacks To Target In ALL Superflex Fantasy Football Formats
    March 13, 2020
    Three Quarterbacks To Target In ALL Superflex Fantasy Football Formats

    Three Quarterbacks To Target In ALL Superflex Fantasy Football Formats The lifeblood of Superflex fantasy football leagues are cheap(er) secondary quarterbacks that are essentially an afterthought in “standard” leagues. We have talked often on the SportsGrid Fantasy Football podcast and in articles here on RX about how fun we believe Superflex fantasy football dynasty leagues…

  • 2020 NFL Draft Prospect Profile: Michael Pittman Jr.
    March 11, 2020
    2020 NFL Draft Prospect Profile: Michael Pittman Jr.

    2020 NFL Draft Prospect Profile: Michael Pittman Jr. In a star-studded wide receiver class, Michael Pittman Jr. is not even amongst the 10 most recognizable names despite attending the University Of Southern California. Generally, USC wide receivers are held in high regard when they come out of school. JuJu Smith-Schuster, Marquise Lee, Nelson Agholor, and…

  • Is Will Fuller Still A Fantasy Football Buy At Increased Cost?
    April 1, 2020
    Is Will Fuller Still A Fantasy Football Buy At Increased Cost?

    Is Will Fuller Still A Fantasy Football Buy At Increased Cost? With the news that DeAndre Hopkins was traded to the Arizona Cardinals, Will Fuller’s dynasty fantasy football value got a nice little boost. The Texans also do not have a first-round pick and actually do not select all the way until the 57th pick.…

  • 2019 NFL Draft Prospect Profiles: David Montgomery, Iowa State
    April 3, 2020
    David Montgomery: Mediocre Talent, Solid Seasonal Target

    David Montgomery: Mediocre Talent, Solid Seasonal Target On Feb. 25, Bears General Manager (GM) Ryan Pace told reporters that the team believes David Montgomery (CHI) can be the team’s featured back and carry a heavier load, “if the team opts to run more in 2020.” Bears GM Ryan Pace believes David Montgomery can be the…

  • Fantasy Football Impact: Todd Gurley Signs With Atlanta Falcons
    March 20, 2020
    Fantasy Football Impact: Todd Gurley Signs With Atlanta Falcons

    Fantasy Football Impact: Todd Gurley Signs With Atlanta Falcons With the news that Todd Gurley was released from the Los Angeles Rams for salary cap (and let us be honest, performance) reasons, Twitter immediately lit up with the speculation of where Gurley might go. Even if Gurley was at his worst last season, averaging 3.8…

  • Kenyan Drake Fantasy Football
    March 26, 2020
    Kenyan Drake, ADP And Markets In Motion

    Kenyan Drake, ADP And Markets In Motion The trade of David Johnson (HOU) to the Texans left Kenyan Drake (HOU), whom the team placed a transition tag on, as the clear lead man in the Cardinals backfield. In eight game with the Cardinals last year, Drake averaged 80.4 yards rushing yards per game on 5.2…

  • Fantasy Football Impact: Stefon Diggs Traded To Buffalo Bills
    March 17, 2020
    Fantasy Football Impact: Stefon Diggs Traded To Buffalo Bills

    Fantasy Football Impact: Stefon Diggs Traded To Buffalo Bills The fireworks have been fast and furious as the NFL has begun its’ free agency/legal tampering period. The Minnesota Vikings traded wide receiver Stefon Diggs and a 2021 seventh-round pick to the Buffalo Bills for the 22nd pick in this year’s draft, along with a fifth- and…

2020 NFL Draft Prospect Profile: KJ Hamler, Penn State

2020 NFL Draft Prospect Profile: KJ Hamler, Penn State
Davis Mattek February 18, 2020 2:44PM EDT

2020 NFL Draft Prospect Profile: KJ Hamler, Penn State

With official looks at Jerry Jeudy, CeeDee Lamb and all of the big-time running backs, we now have the luxury to start digging into the rest of a very talented pool of offensive skill position prospects in the 2020 NFL Draft. KJ Hamler is one of our favorites here at RotoExperts due to his young age, early breakout age and jaw-dropping physical tools.

This thread shows that while Hamler never even achieved a 1,000-yard season, he is the sort of Mecole Hardman-esque prospect that makes a team develop a plan for honing the immense physical talents that a player like Hamler has. The QB play at Penn State during Hamler’s time there was subpar (at best) and Big 10 football is generally lower-paced, lower-scoring and more run-heavy than Big 12 and SEC schools so we do need to remember that while evaluating Hamler.

2020 NFL Draft Prospect Profile: KJ Hamler, Penn State 1

 

 

 

 

 

 

2020 NFL Draft Scouting Report For KJ Hamler

Unlike many of the prospects in this class, Hamler actually did not play as a redshirt freshmen (though he was an early declare which is perhaps the most important signal that a wide receiver prospect can send about their future success). Hamler was a four-star recruit and probably a large reason why he did not play as an 18-year-old freshman was that he tore his ACL in his final season of high school. Forcing him to play on a non-fully recovered knee would have done more harm than good. He wasn’t on the same level of a recruit as CeeDee Lamb but not that far off from someone like Justin Jefferson.

Probably the first thing anyone noticed about Hamler as a player is that he was an extremely dynamic kick returner. In his first-ever game (as a 19-year-old), he had a huge kick return that set up Penn State for a game-tying drive. One of the things we know about prospects now that we didn’t five years ago is that kick and punt return production highly correlates to success at the next level because of the raw agility and speed needed to be successful on those plays. Hamler had over 1,000 kick return yards at Penn State while averaging over 23 yards per kick return.

As a 19-year-old redshirt freshman, Hamler lead Penn State in receptions, more than doubled up all of his teammates in receiving yards and finished second on the team in touchdowns. His 25% Dominator Rating at 19 qualifies as a breakout (by our thresholds, particularly because no one else on the team was close to him in yards) and Hamler accounted for 17% of Penn State’s TOTAL offensive yardage output in 2018. His age-19 season included a 4-138-1 game against Ohio State and 5-66-1 against perennially tough Michigan State.

KJ Hamler’s age 20 season, however, sent him rocketing up draft boards. With even more subpar QB play, Hamler registered eight touchdowns (most on the team), 31% of the teams total passing yards and accounted for 11% of the teams’ total plays on offense. Penn State went 11-2 and was theoretically alive for the college football playoff though it was never a serious possibility. Hamler was the best player on that team and showed it when it counted. He had 7-119 against Minnesota, 6-108-2 against Michigan and 5-57-1 against Michigan State.

Despite only playing for two seasons at Penn State, Hamler was productive, had a few signature moments and put together enough of a portfolio for us to think he projects as an above-average NFL wide receiver.

Projecting KJ Hamler In The 2020 NFL Draft

Part of the evaluation with Hamler is that we essentially know he is going to destroy the combine. Much like it didn’t matter for Marquise Brown that he wasn’t able to run at the combine, no one is thinking that Hamler doesn’t have A+ speed. For someone like Justin Jefferson or Denzel Mims, the combine is going to be huge. Hamler is going to run in the 4.3’s and post a sub 11.00 agility score. In recent years, we have seen the NFL favor that style of player (Mecole Hardman, Marquise Brown) over the giant, redzone threats (JJ Arcega Whiteside, Hakeem Butler).

The Rotoviz Box Score Scout comps for Hamler with a draft position 50 (halfway through the second round) are frankly, tantalizing. I came into writing this prospect report being interested in Hamler and am leaving it thinking he might be the best value in 2020 dynasty rookie drafts.

2020 NFL Draft Prospect Profile: KJ Hamler, Penn State 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Those…those are some pretty impressive comps. Michael Thomas, Juju Smith-Schuster, Jeremy Maclin, even A.J Brown and Christian Kirk make the list. Of course, similarity scores are not gospel and the draft is still two months away from happening. We could be optimistic on just how highly Hamler ends up getting drafted. However, the sort of breakout production he had in a short time at a young age in a Power Five conference is remarkable.

The film grinders like him too! NFLMocks.com describes Hamler as “a highly athletic receiver who will primarily run out of the slot. With his dynamic ability in the open field and strong ability to create separation, he will be successful against man coverage where he can go one-on-one with a corner.” Ben Solak from the Draft Network thinks ” K.J. Hamler is a solid Day 2 candidate for teams looking for an electric playmaker to add to their receiver corps, and is of even higher value to spread-oriented offenses that want a starting slot through whom they can funnel much of their base/series offense. Hamler is at his best in the RPO game, where he can win against leverage against conflicted overhang defenders, then beat second- and third-level angles and turn simple, install box-counting plays into chunk gains. “

The role for Hamler right away is going to be clear: run down the field and get past bigger, slower safeties. Much like Mecole Hardman and Marquise Brown were  used situationally as rookies, Hamler can help an NFL team right away by simply creating more space. We are highly anticipating his eventual landing spot because I have a suspicion that he might end up projecting better than NFL Draft favorite Henry Ruggs III from Alabama.

Popular Features

  • 2020 Dynasty Fantasy Football Rankings
    March 9, 2020
    2020 Post-Combine Dynasty Fantasy Football Rankings

    2020 Post-Combine Dynasty Fantasy Football Rankings After getting through the process of ranking the incoming rookies, it is time to start more seriously thinking about how the incoming players change the construction of dynasty fantasy football rankings. The QB carousel is not quite done spinning yet and won’t until Tom Brady, Philip Rivers and Jameis…

  • 2020 NFL Draft Prospect Profile: Justin Jefferson, LSU
    March 16, 2020
    The Top Machine Learning WR Prospect Will Surprise You

    What Can Machine Learning Tell Us About WR Prospects? One of my favorite parts of draft season is trying to model the incoming prospects. This year, I wanted to try something new, so I dove into the world of machine learning models. Using machine learning to detail the value of a WR prospect is very…

  • NFL RB Prospect Machine Learning
    March 23, 2020
    The 2020 Machine Learning NFL RB Prospect Model

    What Can Machine Learning Tell Us About NFL RB Prospects? Last week, I released some machine learning model results that attempted to predict WR success. This week, I wanted to do the same for NFL RB Prospects. Evaluating an RB prospect before the NFL draft requires careful examination as draft capital is a huge part…

  • Three Quarterbacks To Target In ALL Superflex Fantasy Football Formats
    March 13, 2020
    Three Quarterbacks To Target In ALL Superflex Fantasy Football Formats

    Three Quarterbacks To Target In ALL Superflex Fantasy Football Formats The lifeblood of Superflex fantasy football leagues are cheap(er) secondary quarterbacks that are essentially an afterthought in “standard” leagues. We have talked often on the SportsGrid Fantasy Football podcast and in articles here on RX about how fun we believe Superflex fantasy football dynasty leagues…

  • 2020 NFL Draft Prospect Profile: Michael Pittman Jr.
    March 11, 2020
    2020 NFL Draft Prospect Profile: Michael Pittman Jr.

    2020 NFL Draft Prospect Profile: Michael Pittman Jr. In a star-studded wide receiver class, Michael Pittman Jr. is not even amongst the 10 most recognizable names despite attending the University Of Southern California. Generally, USC wide receivers are held in high regard when they come out of school. JuJu Smith-Schuster, Marquise Lee, Nelson Agholor, and…

  • Is Will Fuller Still A Fantasy Football Buy At Increased Cost?
    April 1, 2020
    Is Will Fuller Still A Fantasy Football Buy At Increased Cost?

    Is Will Fuller Still A Fantasy Football Buy At Increased Cost? With the news that DeAndre Hopkins was traded to the Arizona Cardinals, Will Fuller’s dynasty fantasy football value got a nice little boost. The Texans also do not have a first-round pick and actually do not select all the way until the 57th pick.…

  • 2019 NFL Draft Prospect Profiles: David Montgomery, Iowa State
    April 3, 2020
    David Montgomery: Mediocre Talent, Solid Seasonal Target

    David Montgomery: Mediocre Talent, Solid Seasonal Target On Feb. 25, Bears General Manager (GM) Ryan Pace told reporters that the team believes David Montgomery (CHI) can be the team’s featured back and carry a heavier load, “if the team opts to run more in 2020.” Bears GM Ryan Pace believes David Montgomery can be the…

  • Fantasy Football Impact: Todd Gurley Signs With Atlanta Falcons
    March 20, 2020
    Fantasy Football Impact: Todd Gurley Signs With Atlanta Falcons

    Fantasy Football Impact: Todd Gurley Signs With Atlanta Falcons With the news that Todd Gurley was released from the Los Angeles Rams for salary cap (and let us be honest, performance) reasons, Twitter immediately lit up with the speculation of where Gurley might go. Even if Gurley was at his worst last season, averaging 3.8…

  • Kenyan Drake Fantasy Football
    March 26, 2020
    Kenyan Drake, ADP And Markets In Motion

    Kenyan Drake, ADP And Markets In Motion The trade of David Johnson (HOU) to the Texans left Kenyan Drake (HOU), whom the team placed a transition tag on, as the clear lead man in the Cardinals backfield. In eight game with the Cardinals last year, Drake averaged 80.4 yards rushing yards per game on 5.2…

  • Fantasy Football Impact: Stefon Diggs Traded To Buffalo Bills
    March 17, 2020
    Fantasy Football Impact: Stefon Diggs Traded To Buffalo Bills

    Fantasy Football Impact: Stefon Diggs Traded To Buffalo Bills The fireworks have been fast and furious as the NFL has begun its’ free agency/legal tampering period. The Minnesota Vikings traded wide receiver Stefon Diggs and a 2021 seventh-round pick to the Buffalo Bills for the 22nd pick in this year’s draft, along with a fifth- and…