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2021 NFL Draft: Buffalo Bills draft Pittsburgh S Damar Hamlin with 212th pick

An experienced safety joins the Bills.

With the second of two sixth-round picks obtained in a trade down with the Houston Texans, the Buffalo Bills drafted Pittsburgh safety Damar Hamlin. The Pittsburgh native was a longtime starter and team captain for the Panthers, ultimately playing in 46 games in college. He was a teammate of last year’s seventh-round pick, Dane Jackson. Hamlin was consistently productive while playing with the team, piling up 241 tackles, nine tackles for loss, five interceptions, and 21 pass breakups in 36 starts over his final three seasons.

Standing 6’1” and 208 lbs with a large wingspan, Hamlin seems capable of playing in the box or as a free safety in a Cover 2 system. Scouts noted concerns about his injury history, as well as whether he had the skills to hold up in man coverage against tight ends.

On the Bills’ roster, Hamlin can slot into competition for the backup safety spot that Dean Marlowe used to occupy, now that Marlowe plays for the Detroit Lions. Behind Micah Hyde and Jordan Poyer, the Bills have Jaquan Johnson and former UDFA Josh Thomas. In other words, Hamlin has a good shot.