Will Hill. Jayron Hosley. Two members of the secondary are in hot water for boneheaded mistakes. Hosley has been suspended for the first four games, and Will Hill is off the roster, leaving the Giants with a little less depth than many on the outside anticipated. New York is looking for new bodies and former Gamecock cornerback Victor Hampton has a tryout.
NFL teams may be continuing to build their roster or simply working with what they have, but undrafted free agents continue to hope for a chance to even be on a roster. Hampton does have hope, being a very talented defensive back that showed flashes of brilliance at the University of South Carolina. All-SEC last season, five career interceptions and a career 105 tackles shows a playmaking ability in the arguable best conference in college football.
Going to school in South Carolina, I was fortunate to watch almost every Gamecock football game and study the talent-laden team that put on the garnet and black every Saturday. Hampton was a standout who not only showed playmaking ability but a natural polish for the NFL level. The fluidity in his hips is essential for any top notch defensive back, he trusts his eyes and anticipates routes well enough to react and deflect passes. Other than former first round picks Jadeveon Clowney, Melvin Ingram and Stephon Gilmore, Hampton was one of my favorite defenders from good ol’ Columbia, SC. The difference: Hampton went undrafted.
Sure, I’ve highlighted how talented the kid is and you can watch cut-ups of his snaps to see the proof but at the end of the day, Hampton was not drafted like many of his college teammates. Why? For pretty legitimate reasons.
Hampton’s primary concern at the NFL level is his size. At only 5’9’’, 197 pounds, Hampton has a good build for an NFL corner but does not possess the ideal size that coaches desire. Not to mention that Hampton did not exactly impress at the combine, notching a 4.69 40 yard dash to couple “being slow” with smaller size. These issues with measurables can always be an issue for NFL teams to get over. But what really tarnishes Hampton’s player stock is his lack of maturity.
Known for such issues in high school after being kicked off three different teams, he eventually found a home in Darlington, South Carolina. But sadly, after signing with the Gamecocks in February 2010, the issues did not stop. He was arrested for underage drinking two days after signing, was kicked off the South Carolina team for breaking unspecified rules and yet he was reinstated. Steve Spurrier certainly believes in his players.
Two years went by without any significant issues to speak of, leaving hope that Hampton grew up. But after declaring for the draft, Hampton was tied to an alleged nightclub fight that left a man in the hospital. He was cleared of that accusation, but was then arrested for a dispute with his sister.
What is certain is Hampton has a history that would obviously scare teams, coupling that with his weaker measurables. But what is not is what the Giants may see in this guy to give him a shot. He certainly has talent and an upside that would be truly utilized with maturity. But the team has made it finite that they believe in building team character and chemistry after how they handled Will Hill’s issues and focused on leaders in the offseason and draft. The Giants certainly built their secondary too, so adding another body seems surprising.
If Hampton has truly moved on from such sad problems and he realizes that his only shot at the NFL is to move on, then the Giants may have them a steal. That is, if he impresses at his workout. Otherwise, it is merely the first stop for Hampton on what is already a long road to the pros.
Will the Giants pick up the young Gamecock? No one knows now. Will coupling him with teammate Kelcy Quarles possibly help him mature? Again, no one knows now.
What do you think Giants fans? Would you want to give Hampton added onto the roster?