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What Daxton Hill brings to the Cincinnati Bengals

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Hill will be drafted in the early rounds.

Syndication: Detroit Free Press

This scouting report was part of our pre-draft series on Michigan prospects.

Daxton Hill came to Michigan as a five-star recruit. High expectations followed Hill to Ann Arbor. Hill’s collegiate career was one that will take him to the NFL in 2022.

The 6-foot, 192 pound safety made 23 starts in his career, 69 tackles (42 solo) in 2021 along 2 interceptions and a fumble recovery.

Pros

  • Hard hitter
  • Really fast: Ran a 4.30 40-yard dash coming out of high school
  • Good catch-up speed in coverage, closing-speed flying downhill
  • Versatile: Can line up at safety, nickel, and even has the ability to be a sub-linebacker in dime and quarter coverage.
  • Reliable tackler
  • Special teams contributor
  • Has the ability to blitz effectively

Cons

  • Can improve his ball-hawk abilities
  • Occasionally hesitates enough for a receiver to get behind him at safety
  • Doesn’t always play with the same confidence and aggression
  • Can get flat-footed in zone-coverage, must keep the feet moving and be ready to accelerate any direction.
  • Will have to get more physical with 6-foot-3 plus receivers in man-coverage. If he does he’ll start winning more 50-50 balls and getting more deflections.

There’s a lot to like about Hill as a developmental prospect that already displays versatility. The fact he can line up at nickel, play safety, contribute on special teams — these are things that boost his draft stock. Hill’s the type of player that will excel at the NFL Scouting Combine. He’ll test very well, not only for his 40-yard dash, his vertical, but also just his interviews with teams. Teams will like speaking with him.

Hill’s draft stock would likely have been better if he stuck around one more season at Michigan. College football careers come and goes so quick. On January 1, 2020 Daxton Hill was making his third career start in the Citrus Bowl vs. Alabama. Now Hill is heading to the NFL. While his career had many notable plays, plenty of instances where he’s around the football, his highlight reel isn’t of the first round variety. With a good combine Hill could land in the mid-second, but he could wind up being a third round selection.

Projection: Mid 2nd-3rd