With the 212th pick of the sixth round in the 2021 NFL Draft, the Buffalo Bills selected safety Damar Hamlin out of Pittsburgh. Here are three things to know about the newest Bill.
1. An experienced defender
Hamlin brings a nice body of work in his experience to the Buffalo Bills. The safety played in 48 total games over his five seasons with Pitt. Over his career, he racked up six interceptions, 27 passes defense, 10 tackles for loss and 290 total tackles. This past season, Hamlin started in 10 games and collected seven pass breakups, two interceptions and 3.5 tackles for loss.
The safety earned All-ACC Second-Team honors after the 2020 season. In 2018, Hamlin led the team with 90 tackles.
2. An eye for what's next
In the digital world we live in, there's always a new way to get ahead of the curve. According to triblive.com, Hamlin will be one of the first athletes to get involved with individual trading cards, better known as non-fungible tokens (NFTs). The value can increase as his NFL profile grows.
Jordon Rooney, a marketer who owns the Built Different Creative agency, presented the idea to Hamlin, who is not shy about advancing his brand.
"I just thought it was a great opportunity to get ahead of the curve," Hamlin said. "It's something a lot of players in the league are getting into for the future, and I'm just excited to be one of the first players."
3. A giving heart
Hamlin values taking the time to give back. He wanted to find a way to use his platform for good so he started The Chasing M's Foundation and hosted a toy drive in 2020. The safety raised more than $2,500 and donated toys to Kelly and Nina's Daycare Center, which is in his hometown McKees Rocks, Pennsylvania.
"The idea popped in my head right after Clemson week," Hamlin told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. "It sparked a thought in my head. But I actually couldn't do anything until after my eligibility was done as far as GoFundMe and all that. So it's been a solid week and a half of preparation for the toy drive. This was all able to happen off that short amount of time. That just goes to show the support that the town, the city, all of Pitt fans and the University of Pittsburgh, everyone that grew up watching me and knew my story personally and have been a part of it, that's just a testament to how much they support me."