Nick Hampton is one of the speediest outside linebacker prospects in the approaching 2023 NFL Draft. As the backbone of Appalachian State’s defense over the past four years, Hampton plays with high character and high velocity.
A South Carolina kid, Hampton was an all-region selection in high school before redshirting his freshman year at App State. Over the next four years with the Mountaineers, Hampton played like a pinball, collecting over 170 total tackles. His junior season in college was his most impressive, producing 68 tackles (17.5 TFL), 11 quarterback sacks and two passes defensed. As a senior, Hampton added seven more sacks with three forced fumbles.
Nick Hampton: Scouting Report
Standing at 6-foot-3, 230 pounds, Hampton’s size more resembles an NBA point guard than an NFL linebacker, but looks can be deceiving. With a lightning quick first step (clocked 4.56 40-yard dash at the 2023 NFL Combine), Hampton is electric in pass rushing situations. His techniques are solid, but because of his slight stature, it may be tough for an NFL team to find a true fit for Hampton.
Additionally, Hampton may have tough time pinching down on the run at the NFL level. He’ll need to get crafty with much larger/stronger offensive tackles and tight ends coming his way. Also, for a player as fast as Hampton is, agility is not his strong suit.
Mock Draft landing spots
According to the NFL Mock Draft Database 2023 Consensus Big Board, Nick Hampton is projected as the No. 173 prospect available. Currently, NFL Draft analysts Mel Kiper Jr., Todd McShay, Jordan Reid and Matt Miller all have Hampton outside of their Top-5 outside linebacker/EDGE prospects.
Matt Miller’s recent ESPN mock draft has him going in the fourth round, No. 107 overall to the Patriots. Ryan Wilson’s CBS Sports mock draft has him going in the fifth round, No. 154 overall to the Seahawks.