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Michigan 2017 Draft Profile: Safety Delano Hill

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Former Michigan safety Delano Hill is destined for a hybrid role at next level.

NCAA Football: Oregon State at Michigan Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

A Detroit, Mich. native, former Michigan Wolverines safety Delano Hill is preparing to take his talents away from The Big House to the NFL stage after four years with Big Blue, as the four-year letterman is now entering the 2017 NFL draft.

After serving a reserve role through his first two years with the Wolverines, Hill took the Big Ten by storm as a 13-game starter at safety with Michigan, leading to 46 combined tackles (33 solo), 2.5 tackles for loss and two passes defensed. He then maintained his status into his senior season in 2016, where he amassed career highs across the board with 50 combined tackles (37 solo), 4.5 tackles for loss, three passes defensed and three interceptions.

Hill finished his career in Ann Arbor with 117 total tackles (84 solo), seven tackles for loss, one forced fumbles, five passes defensed and three interceptions in 46 career games (26 starts).

With said efforts, Hills earned an invitation to the 2017 NFL Scouting Combine in February. In front of a breadth of NFL personnel, he impressed those in attendance with his 4.47-second 40-yard dash, the fifth-best time among all safeties that participated in the event. He also weighed in at 6-feet, 1-inch and 216 pounds.

Hill’s compact, muscular build bodes well for his ability as an aggressive, in-the-box safety capable of delivering a jarring blow in run support at the next level. He isn’t afraid to stick his nose into a crowd of offensive linemen to make a play on the ball carrier and will fly to the ball when he does sniff out the direction of play.

Additionally, Hill’s form tackling ability isn’t lost in his heavy hits, as he rarely lets his opposition slip through his grasp.

Working against Hill’s draft stock is his lackluster athletic ability and short-area quickness. He will become a liability in man coverage at the next level if he can’t improve his hip fluidity and closing speed.

As such, some NFL teams will push Hill off their board because of his expected failures in coverage, while others will invest in him as a Day 3 option with upside in run support within a linebacker/strong safety role.

In a defensive scheme that plays to his strengths and hides his weaknesses, Hill can become an impact contributor at the next level and immediately become a difference-maker on special teams.

Poll

Is Hill underrated as a projected 6th-round selection, or does that value sound right?

This poll is closed

  • 55%
    Yeah, he’s underrated
    (131 votes)
  • 44%
    No, he’s a late-round guy
    (104 votes)
235 votes total Vote Now