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: Over the past three seasons, Hill has been 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 2020's limited games, recording 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 has 65 tackles, two interceptions and seven passes broken up entering the college football playoff.

    Hill's best trait for the NFL 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 them up in off-man coverage. Hill will be a real asset to his defense when going against dangerous slot receivers. In nickel, he is a phenomenal cover corner to run the route and prevent separation. Hill 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. Hill is decent at safety, but he is a tweener. He has the mentality of an aggressive strong safety but 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 has been a good run defender in college, as his tackle totals indicate. He tackles well and does a nice job of weaving through blockers. He is smart about how he tackles too, taking the legs out from underneath backs. Hill is undersized, however, so he could have some issues with power backs as a pro. While Hill is tough and aggressive, his slight build could lead to injuries in the NFL.

    For the next level, 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 in the modern game, 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 is likely to be a second-round pick in the 2022 NFL Draft, and team sources don't expect him to slip to the third round. There is a chance he goes late in the first round, but is more likely to go in Round 2.

    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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