The Buffalo Bills drafted Pitt defensive back Damar Hamlin in the sixth round with the No. 212 pick. Hamlin, a four-year starter for the Panthers, split time at safety and cornerback and will provide valuable depth for a shaky secondary.
Incumbent safeties Jordan Poyer and Micah Hyde are both 30 years old, and the Bills pass defense ranked No. 18 in 2020.
Hamlin is 6-foot-1 and 200 pounds. He has elite burst, with his 1.46 second 10 yard split in the 40 yard dash in the 98th percentile for defensive backs. He doesn’t have the speed to play corner in the NFL, but is a physical presence at safety for his size.
He recorded six interceptions and 21 pass breakups over his five years with the Panthers, and is a consistent tackler with 194 solo stops in his college career.
» Hometown Hero
» All-ACC safety
» 48 games, 290 tackles, 6 INT
Damar Hamlin » @HamlinIsland
— Pitt Football (@Pitt_FB) May 1, 2021
The Bills have taken a Panthers defensive back in each of the last two drafts, and Hamlin will join his former teammate Dane Jackson on the shores of Lake Erie.
Hamlin becomes the 5th Pitt player selected in this years draft, the most for Pitt in a single draft since 2017.
The Pick is IN! The Steal of the draft! @HamlinIsland to the Bills!!
Congrats to a true PITT MAN‼️🔥🔵🟡 pic.twitter.com/GPvx8aHmdX
— Pat Narduzzi (@CoachDuzzPittFB) May 1, 2021
Todd McShay on Hamlin: "I love this guy. … Everything's average across the board except the way he plays the game. … I can guarantee you right now, he's going to make the 53-man roster as a special teams maven & he'll develop into a playmaker in the back end for the Bills."
— John McGonigal (@jmcgonigal9) May 1, 2021