24 Aug Preseason Scouting Notes: Mike Hampton, CB, South Florida
Redshirt Senior | 6’1” | 190 lbs | Tampa, FL | Third Team All-AAC
Mike Hampton shows good athletic ability with the change of direction ability to mirror effectively, foot speed to cover vertically, and agility to flow between routes in coverage.
As a man defender, he shows good hip fluidity to mirror receivers and reacts quickly to route breaks while keeping low hips to adjust to double moves. He shows good timing and closing speed to break on the ball and knock it lose, but can be posted up at the catch point and struggle to play through bigger receivers. Playing press engage is not one of his strong suits, as he lacks the requisite play strength and his punch timing can be inconsistent. He can play press bail effectively, trailing well in coverage and protects his leverage well in off-man.
A good zone defender, Hampton has the lateral agility and awareness to flow between routes and squeeze passing windows underneath. He follows the QB’s eyes well and reacts very quickly once the ball is thrown, coming downhill aggressively. He was often asked to play deep zone in cover 3, and showed a good leverage understanding to force inside and protect the sideline.
Against the Run:
He struggles to shed blocks from WRs, with high pad level and adequate lower body strength, which limits his effectiveness as a run defender. When coming off the edge unblocked, he does have the burst and aggressiveness to make plays in the backfield, but he can be overzealous and miss diving tackles. He can break down well in the open field to make saving tackles, but does not show a high level of competitiveness in pursuit.
Hampton is a quick, fluid cover corner who fits best as a zone or off-man defender. His lack of play strength at the catch point and inability to shed blocks to run support will hold him back from developing into a starting DB at the next level. If he can show more aggressiveness and competitive toughness, he could make a solid backup CB.
His fluidity and speed will intrigue some NFL DCs, but with his lack of physicality and struggles in press, Hampton will likely fall as a late day 3 pick.
What to watch 2020:
Can he improve his block shedding ability and physicality at the catch point? If he can become a more physical corner to pair with his speed and reactive athleticism, Hampton could be a big riser.