Kyle Hamilton is the best security in 2022 NFL Draft, but the pecking order is always moving after him. Can Michigan S Daxton Hill use the 2021 season to improve their NFL scouting report and earn a first-round berth? It will take a bit more development, but Hill has the physical tools to do it.
Daxton Hill NFL Draft Profile
- Position: Security
- School: Michigan
- Current year: Junior
- Height: 6’0 ″
- Weight: 192 lbs
Daxton Hill Scouting Report
The numbers don’t always adequately reflect a player’s pace on the pitch. Some players seem faster or slower than their athletic times. Nonetheless, sports test figures often provide a solid baseline against which to base one’s expectations. And the expectations couldn’t be much higher for Hill.
In a league full of elite athletes, Hill could be as elite as possible. The Michigan S achieved the highest SPARQ score in the recruiting class of 2019. Among other things, it recorded a 4.3 40-yard scorecard and 43-inch vertical, as well as a 4, 13 20 yards. Hill undoubtedly has rare athletic abilities, but do they show up on the court and is he using them effectively?
The athletic profile of Daxton Hill
Hill’s athletic numbers suggest otherworldly dynamism, and he lives up to that on the strip. When Hill is playing at full speed, he is moving at a pace few can match. As you might expect, the Michigan product has elite explosiveness and chasing speed. These qualities combine into impressive reach, both downstream and side to side.
Hill is an extremely nervous athlete who possesses large amounts of constant potential energy. He has the athleticism to quickly adjust his angles in tight spaces, and his speed and explosiveness allow him to regain ground when reacting late. The Michigan S shows an intense closing flurry at the tackle point, and its impressive proportional length allows it to handle head-to-head situations.
Beyond his speed and explosiveness, Hill is also exceptionally fluid. It is extremely smooth and quick to come out of its backpedal. He can turn his hips over and explode in an instant. This hip fluidity shows up down the field, where he has shown he can easily rock and stick to receivers. Hill may be a gum in the deep third, but his combination of explosiveness and fluidity is also conducive to success in the surface.
Execution beyond physical traits
The operational part of Hill’s game is still in progress. However, the Michigan S has shown promising flashes of consciousness, stable mechanics, and other intangibles.
First of all, Hill doesn’t play slowly. He uses the full extent of his athleticism most often, and he’s also quite aggressive. He’s shown his physique more than once on the road rod and he’s ready to engage the running backs. Hill has a containment mentality as a tackle and doesn’t recklessly throw himself away.
In space, Hill also has a certain appeal. He exhibits quick recognition ability and strong instincts when analyzing gaps in running defense. Hill has shown he can grab the eyes of a quarterback and decode his next course of action in real time. Plus, Hill has smooth footwork on the line. He maintains a constant lever before turning his hips.
Finally, Hill already has great versatility. His athleticism gives him much of that flexibility. Still, Hill has shown he can handle single-high, two-high, or slot roles.
Areas of improvement
As exciting as Hill’s physical skills are, the Michigan S has a lot to improve in 2021. Mentally, he’s shown some promising flashes, but he’s still pretty inconsistent in this area. He can be more consistent by following the quarterback’s eyes and he doesn’t always act on the information his own eyes give him. Hill can be indecisive and slow to respond in area coverage at times, and his diagnostic skills may improve in the back.
Along with her recognition, Hill can also find a better balance between patience and aggression, which should come with some additional mental refinement. Hill can easily be baited and led astray by misdirection. He does not always take the best angles in pursuit and sometimes plays with imbalance. Likewise, Hill can exceed tackle angles on the downhill.
Additionally, Hill struggles to deconstruct blocks in run defense. Its frame does not provide much force in contact situations, and its inconsistency of disengagement can make it inert on some parts. Additionally, Hill can be more disruptive at the point of capture. It can also maintain better spacing in single-high coverage.
Daxton Hill NFL Draft Scout Report Sneak Peek
Hill will be 21 in September, so he’s still incredibly young. So, it shouldn’t be surprising that there is room for refinement in his NFL Draft scouting report. Mental quickness is a combination of knowledge and confidence. Sometimes Hill has shown he has the knowledge to recognize keys. However, sometimes he can be more confident in identifying and pursuing these keys.
Hill must continue to study his keys and refine his mental process. Once he does that, and once things click, the Michigan S can be a special player. It covers the ground with inhuman gust and speed. On cover, this flurry justifies his impressive reach, and he also has the fluidity and speed of the foot to stick to players in men.
At the height of his development, Hill can be a game-changing chess piece in high school. The question is, can he reach that peak?
Daxton Hill player profile
In case you forgot (you probably haven’t), I’ll share the Hill High School test numbers again. He recorded a 4.3-yard dash at 40 yards and a 43-inch vertical at 6’1 “, 187 pounds. With those numbers in mind, it’s no surprise that Hill is a five-star rookie and the 13th overall player on ESPN’s recruiting council.
The no-surprises don’t end there. Understandably, Hill – a product of Tulsa, Oklahoma – was coveted from the East Coast to the West Coast. Schools like Clemson, Oregon, Georgia, LSU, and Oklahoma have all submitted bids for Hill. Alabama too. In fact, Nick Saban greeted Hill on a visit.
Even with interest from some of the best college football programs, Hill’s eyes turned to Ann Arbor. He traveled to Michigan in September 2018. In December, he officially signed up to the Wolverines.
Daxton Hill’s career in Michigan and the rise of the NFL Draft
Hill arrived in Michigan in 2019 as one of the most anticipated recruits in recent memory. The coaches didn’t bother to wait to let Hill enter the field. And Hill, true to his five-star form, didn’t wait to start playing. The Oklahoma native has played 13 games, racking up 36 tackles, 3 tackles for a loss, 1 interception, 3 pass deflections and 2 fumble recoveries.
In 2020, Hill returned to his starting role and thrived despite a season impacted by COVID. Hill started all six Wolverines games and surpassed his 2019 campaign. He had 44 tackles, one interception and 4 pass deflections. Hill stood out for his team and he also won academic honors from the All-Big Ten.
Now Hill is entering his junior season. He’s long been an NFL-worthy promise, and he has the physical tools to be a first-round pick. It is on the rise, but there is still work to be done. If Hill can continue to lean on his physical foundation, he can be a legitimate X factor.