OWINGS MILLS, Md. — Ravens rookie Kyle Hamilton heard a voice, saying, "Kyle, this is your father."
But it wasn't really Hamilton's father ... or Darth Vader.
It was Ravens Hall-of-Famer Ed Reed.
"I've been a Raven for less than 24 hours and I've been asked about you about 50 times," Hamilton said.
The two players spoke on Ravens Wired about life in the NFL and Reed offered some words of wisdom, especially when it comes to expectations.
"You do your thing," Reed said. "Don't worry about the comparison [to me]. That stuff is just there. You're your own person, your own man. That's what got you where you're at."
As a first-round pick and a safety, Hamilton will face obvious comparisons to Reed, who is regarded as one of the best players to ever play the position.
While in Baltimore, Reed earned nine Pro Bowl berths and was named All-Pro six times. He was the 2004 NFL Defensive Player of the Year and the Ravens’ Ed Block Courage Award winner in 2008. Baltimore reached three AFC Championship Games during Reed’s tenure and in 2012 he helped the Ravens defeat the San Francisco 49ers, 34-31 in Super Bowl XLVII.
Reed ended his NFL career with 643 total tackles, 64 interceptions, seven interception returns for touchdowns, six sacks, 13 fumble recoveries and 139 passes defensed. He holds the Ravens’ franchise records for career interceptions (61), interception return yards (1,541), interceptions returned for touchdowns (7) and passes defensed (135).
He holds NFL records for longest interception return (107 yards), career interception return yards (1,590) and career multi-interception games (12). Reed is tied for most career playoff interceptions (9) and most blocked punts returned for touchdowns (3) in NFL history.
Some pundits claimed that Hamilton was the best overall player in this year's draft. He has the potential to be a solid NFL player for years to come.
Last season, Hamilton, 6-foot-4, 220 pounds, had 35 tackles, including two for loss, with three interceptions. He has exceptional range and is a solid hitter. Hamilton has drawn comparisons to Denver Broncos safety Justin Simmons.
He fit perfectly into the Ravens system and the team is excited about his upside.
GM Eric DeCosta could not believe that Hamilton fell all the way to 14.
"We were very fortunate because we had a guy like Kyle really there," DeCosta said. "It was a gift that we haven’t always had in some years [and] it made it very easy because the phone didn’t ring. There have been a few years I can think of when the phone hasn’t rung. Two years – just to tell you guys a little story – it never rang when we drafted Ronnie Stanley, and it never rang when we drafted Marlon Humphrey, and those were pretty good picks.
"I feel that we’ll look back on this pick and we’ll be glad that the phone didn’t ring.”
Now, Hamilton will try to create his own legacy in Baltimore.