KJ Hamler Joins ESPN’s Louis Riddick, Talks Penn State Career & Upcoming NFL Draft

KJ Hamler joined NFL analyst Louis Riddick on ESPN Saturday morning to discuss the upcoming NFL Draft. The former Penn State wideout, who is best known for his speed, reflected on his choice to forego another year of NCAA eligibility in favor of a shot in the NFL.

Hamler, who is well aware of his small size at just over 5’8″ and 178 pounds, said he has a lot to offer any team who is willing to give him a chance.

“NFL teams will, for sure, be getting a playmaker despite my size, my stature,” Hamler said. “I play with a chip on my shoulder 24/7, and I think my heart is 6’5″ while I’m in a 5’9″ frame, so I just like proving people wrong. My heart is bigger than my body. I’ll go out there and compete with anybody — I fear no man.”

With a historically strong class of wide receivers that’ll hear their names called in the first round, Hamler has plenty of competition, but he isn’t worried.

“I’m not scared of competition,” Hamler said. “I’ve been competing my whole life. I’ve been an underdog my whole life, so proving people wrong is something I look forward to doing.”

Perhaps the biggest criticism of the Pontiac, Michigan native is dropped passes, which Riddick pointed out. But Hamler is confident in his improvement in this regard.

“For all the drops that I had this year was mainly little things like lack of focus, trying to turn up field and make a play too fast,” Hamler said. “I’ve been working on that this offseason while training for the combine and looking at the ball all the way through the tuck, getting my hands stronger.”

Hamler also briefly touched on his relationship with former Nittany Lion and current Philadelphia Eagles running back, Miles Sanders, with whom he is particularly close. The pair were roommates during part of their time at Penn State.

“Miles is one of my best friends, so it’d be a blessing [to play for the Eagles,]” Hamler said, “But I think anywhere that any team picks me would be a blessing as well.”

Hamler might not hear his name called in the first round, but could certainly get picked in the second or third round, according to some experts. CBS Sports’ Ryan Wilson predicts Hamler will be selected 57th overall by the Los Angeles Rams. In another CBS mock draft, Hamler is slated to be selected 70th overall with the Miami Dolphins.

The first round of the NFL Draft will begin at 8 p.m. on Thursday, April 23 and be broadcast on ESPN. The rest of the draft will finish on Saturday night, and can be watched on the NFL Network.

Watch Hamler’s entire interview with Riddick below:

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About the Author

Andy Mollenauer

Andy is a writer for Onward State, a senior majoring in journalism, and a die-hard Wisconsin pro sports fan despite being from our nation's capital. His taste in music is absolute garbage, ranging from Bon Jovi to Slipknot to Avril Lavigne. If you want to talk sports or share memes and cute photos of French bulldogs, email him at [email protected].

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