When versatile Kyle Hamilton was still on the board at No. 14, General Manager Eric DeCosta said it became obvious the Ravens should draft him.
Adding a safety was not considered a top priority for the Ravens, especially after they signed safety Marcus Williams in free agency. However, with Williams, Hamilton, and Chuck Clark leading a safety group that also includes Brandon Stephens and Geno Stone, Baltimore will have perhaps the NFL's deepest safety rotation.
"We thought this guy would be gone by pick No. 4 or 5 maybe," DeCosta said. "Just too good of a player. You see how tight ends now are such weapons. We think this guy can cover tight ends. He can go down in the blocks. He can do a myriad of different things for us.
"I never dreamed in a million years that he would be there. It reminds me of the old drafts with Ozzie (Newsome), where it just seemed like good players would fall down to us. It was a no-brainer for us. He's a very smart guy. With Marcus, with Chuck, with him, with Brandon Stephens, with Geno, we have a lot of moving pieces, chess pieces."
Hamilton was sitting in the green room in Las Vegas, waiting for his name to be called with family and friends. The wait was longer than Hamilton expected, and he wondered how long it would last. However, he was thrilled that Baltimore was the team to call his name.
"It's one of the best organizations in the league and to be able to play for a team like that from the start, I'm excited," Hamilton said. "Hope to win a Super Bowl this year, hopefully I can add to that mission and complete that.
"When we first got in there (the green room), everybody was laughing and smiling, and then the whole room, the mood just shifted. Slowly but surely, people started to tense up a little bit. The waiting game is tough, for sure, but I'm so thankful that it happened at the end of the day. I fell to the right team, and I'm excited to be a Raven."
Hamilton said he is well aware of the legacy that Hall of Fame safety Ed Reed left in Baltimore. He's looking forward to meeting Reed, and hopefully gaining some wisdom from him.
"I know he's the 'G.O.A.T.' [greatest of all time], if not, Top 2 safety ever," Hamilton said. "Hopefully, I'll get to pick his brain a little bit and get some knowledge from him. At the end of the day, it's big shoes to fill, but I feel if I can do everything I can and trust my abilities, I can fill them."
Hamilton said he met with the Ravens during the pre-draft process and came away thinking he might be their choice if they had an opportunity to draft him. He plans to reward the Ravens for their confidence in him.
"Going into the draft tonight, there's a bunch of questions – probably more questions than answers," Hamilton said. "Throughout the process, I knew the Ravens liked me. I visited with them, and it was a great visit. I liked them, they liked me, obviously. I'm excited to get this thing started."