2022 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Daxton Hill

  • Daxton Hill, 6-0/192

  • Safety

  • Michigan

  • Daxton Hill Scouting Report
    By Charlie Campbell

  • Very good nickel cornerback
  • Man-coverage ability on slot receivers
  • Plug-and-play starting nickel corner in the NFL
  • Instinctive
  • Quick
  • Fluid; can flip his hips and run
  • Covers a lot of ground
  • Always around the ball
  • Willing run defender
  • Tough tackler
  • Has some skills
  • Very good at picking up receivers in off-man coverage
  • Versatility
  • Intelligence
  • Plays tough and hard
  • Experienced

  • Weaknesses:
  • Slim build
  • Could have a hard time avoiding injury in the NFL
  • Could have a hard time holding up as a strong safety, eighth man in the box
  • Lacks size to tackle NFL running backs

  • Summary: Hill spent the last three seasons as a dependable slot corner for Michigan while contributing as a safety in base sets. In 2019, he recorded 36 tackles, an interception and three passes defended. Hill was highly productive in the shortened 2020 season, notching 45 tackles, one interception and four passes batted. In 2021, Hill came up with some big plays to help Michigan to a Big Ten Championship. The junior finished out the year with 69 tackles, two interceptions and eight passes broken up.

    Hill’s best trait for the next level is his ability to line up and cover slot receivers. His quickness, flexibility and fluid athleticism allow him to line up at the line of scrimmage or pick up receivers in off-man coverage. Hill will be a real asset to his defense when going against dangerous slot receivers. For nickel, he is a phenomenal cover corner to run the route and prevent separation. He shows good instincts to play the ball and is very active in the middle of the field.

    The tape of Hill as a safety is not as impressive compared to when he plays nickel corner. He was decent at safety, but he is a tweener. Hill has the mentality of an aggressive strong safety in the body of a deep free safety. For the NFL, he is not a true rangy deep safety and he lacks the size to be a strong safety.

    Hill was a good run defender in college, as his tackle totals suggest. He wraps up well and does a nice job of weaving through blockers. Hill is smart about how he tackles, taking the legs out from underneath backs. Hill is undersized, however, so he could have some issues with power backs. While Hill is tough and aggressive, his slight build could lead to injuries as a pro.

    For the NFL, Hill looks like a starting nickel corner who could play some safety in the base defense. Teams are in nickel at least 70 percent of their snaps, and sometimes they play nickel the entire game. Given Hill’s limitations at safety, it might make more sense to rest him in base sets to protect him from injury and keep him fresh for his role as the nickel.

    Hill could get consideration in the back half of the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft. He won’t get out of the second round, according to some team sources.

    Player Comparison: Jimmie Ward. Injuries have also hurt Ward (5-11, 193) in his NFL career, but when healthy, he is a quality safety and nickel corner for San Francisco. Hill is almost identical in size to Ward. While Ward was a safety/corner tweener, Hill is a true nickel who can play some safety. In the NFL, Hill could be a defender who is similar to Ward.


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