3 things to know about Denver Broncos No. 46 overall pick KJ Hamler

Sal Maiorana
Rochester Democrat and Chronicle
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Penn State Nittany Lions wide receiver KJ Hamler (1) rushes with the ball past Minnesota Golden Gophers defensive back Jordan Howden (23).

The Denver Broncos selected Penn State wide receiver KJ Hamler with the No. 46 overall pick in the second round of the 2020 NFL Draft. Here are three things to know about Hamler.

1. Knee injury delayed his career

Hamler was a standout at Orchard Lake St. Mary’s outside Detroit for three years, then transferred to the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida in his senior year. Unfortunately, he suffered a knee injury that cost him the entire season.

He was fortunate that Penn State stuck with him after he committed, but he red-shirted his first year because he was still coming back from the injury. Therefore, he played only two years, totaling 98 catches for 1,658 yards and 13 TDs.

2. Early taste of the Silverdome

Growing up in Pontiac, Michigan, the old Silverdome was minutes from his home. He remembered attending two Detroit Lions games there as a kid, but more prominent was the fact that he played there.

“It was Astroturf and I played on it as well through Little League,” he said. “I played for the Pontiac Panthers. The Silverdome got torn down and Pontiac has never been the same. When I get to that level, I just want to go back home and help people.”

3. Needs to prove people wrong

Because of his lack of size – 5-foot-9, 176 pounds – Hamler has battled negativity about his ability to make it in the pros. He believes he’s vastly underrated.

“Just because of my size,” he said. “I’m light, I’m a smaller guy, my quickness, my agility, my dog mentality, being a playmaker. I get that a lot. I’ve been an underdog my whole life, so just going out there and proving something.”

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