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2020 NFL Draft profile: Michigan cornerback Lavert Hill

Hill exits Michigan as a solid No. 1 college corner, but with a questionable pro future.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: OCT 19 Michigan at Penn State Photo by Randy Litzinger/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Lavert Hill was a two-time All-Big Ten cornerback for the Michigan Wolverines and did a nice job overall of grabbing the baton from his brother Lano Hill — who was a starting safety in Ann Arbor and a third round pick in the 2017 NFL Draft — to be an important piece in the secondary. Despite this, he comes into the 2020 NFL Draft as a player who has a lot to overcome measureables-wise in order to make an impact at the next level.

Here is Hill’s background and what he brings to the table as a prospect heading into the draft.

Info

Height/Weight: 5-foot-10, 190 pounds

School: Michigan

Position: Cornerback

Projected: 6th-7th round

Combine Results: 21 bench press reps

Player Comparison: Anthony Brown

Strengths

  • Press coverage technique might be his biggest asset and he is not afraid to get chippy with receivers in that area of his game
  • Flashed a solid ability for knowing how to turn and find the football when there’s a play to be made
  • An adequate and willing tackler though not a true strength to his game, just is not shy when he needs to
  • Patient feet and did a nice job overall of putting himself into the right spots in college, discipline and body control helped him offset some of his physical limitations
  • Put up 21 reps on the bench press at the NFL Combine, which was tied for second among cornerbacks in the class

Weaknesses

  • Lack of height and speed dampens his stock as limits his ability to be a consistent piece on a 53-man roster at the next level
  • Bit of a tweener in that he is not big or fast enough to play as a boundary corner at the next level and perhaps not as quick to find a role as a slot in nickel and dime packages
  • Started to see teams test the deep ball against him more as his college career went on, had trouble keeping up with bigger, more physical receivers
  • As a result of the last bullet point, he would get grabby against wideouts when he felt he was beaten

Overview

Hill was a solid cornerback during his time at Michigan and what always stood out about him was his ability to play well in press coverage. While never an elite playmaking defensive back, he displayed solid playmaking ability and often times seemed to put himself in the right spot to make a play. He could have declared for the 2019 NFL Draft, but decided to come back to Ann Arbor for his senior season and his stock took a bit of hit. He was not bad, but it seemed like he sort of plateaued as a player. Projecting success at the NFL level is a fairly traits-based process and when you watch Hill on film, you see a guy who’s lack of size/strength and top-end speed limiting his potential to make an impact, though. He might benefit from a kick inside to play the slot, but there are still a lot of questions there. If he is going to have chance to contribute, it will be on special teams first and then you see what happens from there. The old adage is that all it takes is one team to fall in love, but it would not be a surprise to see him wait for a team to call him until undrafted free agency hits.