NFL Draft picks Kenny Pickett and Kyle Hamilton take their college rivalry to the AFC North, with Pickett to the Steelers and Hamilton to the Ravens.
The Pittsburgh Panthers and the Notre Dame Fighting Irish have endured a fierce rivalry since 1909, and the teams have met regularly since 1982. Notre Dame leads the series with a 49–21–1 record, and former Notre Dame safety Kyle Hamilton is not about to let former Pitt quarterback Kenny Pickett forget it.
Hamilton, who now claims to hate the Steelers, found it amusing that the franchise chose his collegiate nemesis Kenny Pickett.
“That’s ironic,” Hamilton said. “I hope I pick him.”
Kenny Pickett and Kyle Hamilton bring college rivalry to the Steelers and Ravens
As of April 28, Hamilton is a proud member of the Baltimore Ravens, as he was selected No. 14 overall by the historically defense-minded franchise. Hamilton joins the legacy of one of the greatest safeties of all time, longtime Ravens safety Ed Reed, but it’s surprising the Ravens were even able to pick Hamilton that late. While some argued that Hamilton should have gone No. 1 overall, the reality is that the safety position is severely undervalued, fellow NFL draftee Jaquan Brisker recently told FanSided.
While Hamilton is seen as a steal, Steelers Nation is more divided over the choice of Kenny Pickett at No. 20. Some Steelers fans preferred quarterback Malik Willis, who remains undrafted and is expected to headline the second round of the NFL Draft.
Willis is known for his mobility and play-making, although his routes are drastically limited to deep sideline throws. Pickett, on the other hand, was analyzed as the best against pro-style defenses, and Pittsburgh is looking for a rapid successor to Ben Roethlisberger.
While Willis is desired for his dynamic mobility reminiscent of Patrick Mahomes, Pickett may be the better fit for Pittsburgh — especially since he can continue battling Hamilton for years to come.