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*** RD 1 BENGALS DRAFT - DAXTON HILL (S) ***


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2. DAX HILL | Michigan 6002 | 191 lbs. | JR. Tulsa, Okla. (Booker T. Washington) 9/29/2000 (age 21.58) #30
BACKGROUND: Daxton “Dax” Hill, who is the youngest of two boys, was born and raised in Tulsa and focused on basketball before picking up football in the fourth
grade, playing running back and linebacker for the Tulsa Bulldogs. He attended Booker T. Washington High (alma mater of both of his parents) where he was a fouryear
letterman, primarily at safety with some offensive snaps mixed in at wide receiver. Hill notched 67 tackles and two interceptions as a freshman followed by 45
tackles and two interceptions as a sophomore. As a junior, he helped lead Booker T. Washington to a 12-1 record and the 2017 6A Division II state championship,
finishing the season with 71 tackles and five interceptions (three returned for touchdowns) and seven touchdown receptions on offense. As a senior, Hill was named a
U.S. Army All-American and the 2018-19 Gatorade Player of the Year in Oklahoma with 93 tackles, 9.0 tackles for loss, 11 passes defended, three forced fumbles and
two interceptions. He gave up basketball after his freshman year and lettered in track as a sophomore, posting personal bests of 11.01 in the 100 meters and 22.02 in
the 200 meters.
A five-star recruit out of high school, Hill was the No. 1 safety in the 2019 recruiting class (No. 14 recruit overall) and the No. 1 recruit in the state of Oklahoma. He
considered in-state Oklahoma and Oklahoma State, along with several of the top national programs such as Georgia, LSU, and Ohio State. But in the end, Hill’s choice
came down to Alabama and Michigan. He initially committed to the Wolverines in September 2018 before flipping to Alabama after his senior year. However, he
flipped back to Michigan on signing day. His older brother (Justice) played running back at Oklahoma State and was a fourth-round pick (No. 113 overall) in the 2019
NFL Draft by the Baltimore Ravens (missed the 2021 season with a torn achilles). Hill elected to skip his senior season and enter the 2022 NFL Draft.
YEAR (GP/GS) TKLS TFL SACK FF PD INT NOTES
2019: (13/3) 36 3.0 0.0 0 4 1
2020: (6/6) 46 0.0 0.0 0 5 1
2021: (14/14) 69 4.5 0.5 0 11 2 First Team All-Big Ten; Led team in PD, INTs
Total: (33/23) 151 7.5 0.5 0 20 4
HT WT ARM HAND WING 40-YD 20-YD 10-YD VJ BJ SS 3C BP
COMBINE 6002 191 32 1/4 9 1/2 79 1/4 4.38 2.54 1.51 33 1/2 10’1” 4.06 6.57 - (no bench press – choice)
PRO DAY - - 32 1/2 9 3/8 79 3/4 - - - 37 10’2” - - - (stood on Combine ht, wt, runs, shuttles)
STRENGTHS: Twitched-up athlete to play sticky coverage … clean footwork to pedal or match laterally in man-coverage vs. the slot … gets in and out of route breaks
with little wasted movement thanks to his smooth footwork and hips … flashes an extra gear when closing on throws … superb mental processor on combo routes …
gets a beat on throws because of his anticipation and feel for tells from the quarterback and route runners … has a natural feel for body position and consistently
playing to his help in coverage … tracks the football with a knack for attacking at the highest point … stings in run support with his toughness and high-to-low tackling
skills … explosive, well-timed blitzer to shoot through gaps … consistently makes plays from the backside thanks to his pursuit range … not shy mixing things up with a
dependable playing temperament … experienced lining up in the slot and at different safety alignments … durable and didn’t miss a game in college.
WEAKNESSES: Ordinary body type, length and bulk for the position … might struggle to match up with the physicality and size of NFL tight ends … can be a step late
turning to carry vertical speed … willing striker but doesn’t have much burst behind his pads … will go backwards at times on contact and can do a better job striking
through his target … average play strength when sifting through traffic and needs to develop his take-on skills … introverted by nature and would be good to see more
swagger from him.
SUMMARY: A three-year starter at Michigan, Hill lined up as the slot nickel in former defensive coordinator Mike Macdonald’s man-zone scheme. His role and impact
steadily grew each of the past three seasons in Ann Arbor, culminating in a standout 2021 season where he led the team in both passes defended and interceptions.
Hill plays with the athletic twitch and transitional quickness to interchangeably play slot-man, deep safety or in the box and can just as easily lay licks in the run game
as he can cover the slot fade. He displays the competitive temperament and awareness to smother in zone or man, although he can do a better job exploding through
his target as a tackler or blitzer. Overall, Hill might not have elite size or length, but his versatile package of skills (athletic range, toughness, football IQ) make him
the ideal nickel defender in today’s NFL. He should be a rookie starter as either a split safety or slot defender

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Hill was named the Oklahoma Gatorade Player of the Year his senior campaign at Tulsa's Booker T. Washington High School. The brother of former Oklahoma State and current NFL running back Justice Hill was Michigan's Defensive Rookie of the Year in 2019 (36 tackles, three for loss, one interception, three pass breakups in 13 games, three starts). Big Ten coaches voted him honorable mention all-conference in 2020 as he started all six games (46 tackles, one interception, four pass breakups). Hill was a first-team all-league pick in 2021, filling up the stat sheet as a 14-game starter (70 tackles, 4.5 for loss, two interceptions, nine pass breakups). -- by Chad Reuter
 
Draft Projection
Rounds 1-2
Overview
Hybrid safety/nickel with an outstanding blend of speed, explosiveness and coverage versatility. Hill is a smooth, twitchy athlete who is unencumbered in his coverage movements. He's rangy playing over the top, has the eyes and burst to play zone, and the oily hips and length to shade bigger slots in man coverage. He can trigger quickly downhill to cut off angles in run support but his play demeanor is more run-and-cover than run-and-hit near the line. Hill has premium athletic traits, enticing coverage talent and the ability to make plays on the ball from anywhere he is aligned. He's sure to be a coveted target for defenses trapped in pass-happy divisions.
Strengths
  • Rare speed and explosiveness as a safety.
  • Versatility for multiple coverages.
  • Loose and smooth in backpedal and weave from high safety.
  • Big kick to close and challenge off the hash.
  • Slides feet to alter route leverage in man versus slot.
  • Instant open-to-sprint mechanism.
  • Disciplined to locate quarterback's eyes and find keys.
  • Sees route development around him.
  • Anticipates and pounces on route breaks.
  • Burst to drive and attack the ball-side passing lane.
  • Quick trigger to close downhill from split safety.
  • Talented to locate ball-carrier in sideline-to-sideline pursuit.
Weaknesses
  • Needs to play his role and let the game come to him.
  • Could have ups and downs carrying vertical slot targets.
  • Inconsistent recognition of rub routes.
  • Needs to play with greater aggression in run support.
  • Explosive athlete but not as explosive a tackler.
  • Want to see more shock in his hands taking on blocks.
  • Big blockers will stick and sustain at a higher than desired rate.
Sources Tell Us

"He's so fast and so athletic that it wouldn't surprise me if a team tried to make him a full-time cornerback. I think he has that kind of potential." -- Area scout for NFC team
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9 minutes ago, BlackJesus said:

"He's so fast and so athletic that it wouldn't surprise me if a team tried to make him a full-time cornerback. I think he has that kind of potential." -- Area scout for NFC team

 

I like the pick as a Safety. But I LOOOVEEE the pick if they want to play him at CB

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1 minute ago, BlackJesus said:

 

I like the pick as a Safety. But I LOOOVEEE the pick if they want to play him at CB

 

He's a slot type CB if they do and we already have Mike Hilton doing that for a few more years.

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3 minutes ago, BlackJesus said:

 

I like the pick as a Safety. But I LOOOVEEE the pick if they want to play him at CB

Exactly.  With that straight-line speed and cone shuttle quickness, why can't he play CB?  He could literally learn five Defensive positions.

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Just now, Kingspoint said:

Exactly.  With that straight-line speed and cone shuttle quickness, why can't he play CB?  He could literally learn five Defensive positions.

 

 

Taylor said they can use him in alot of different ways.

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He's ideal for the NFL's new position on defense of "position-less". Swiss army knife piece in secondary. 4.38 speed and good 3-cone. He can move and change direction. They can get him on the field and use him in all sorts of interesting ways. 

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A someone who loved Lewis Cine, their measurables are pretty similar ... But the Bengals obviously preferred Daxton as they could have had either.  

 

40 TIME 

Hill: 4.38

Cine: 4.37

 

Arms 

Hill: 32 1/4

Cine: 32 1/4

 

Vertical 

Hill: 33.5 

Cine: 36.5

 

Broad jump (the only big difference) 

Hill: 121

Cine: 133

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2 minutes ago, BlackJesus said:

A someone who loved Lewis Cine, their measurables are pretty similar ...

but the Bengals obviously preferred Daxton as they could have had either.  

 

40 TIME 

Hill: 4.38

Cine: 4.37

 

Arms 

Hill: 32 1/4

Cine: 32 1/4

 

Vertical 

Hill: 33.5 

Cine: 36.5

 

Broad jump (the only big difference) 

Hill: 121

Cine: 133

 

 

And broad jump is about measuring explosiveness which is less important for DBs and more important for linemen

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One interesting factor is that Hill has 32 1/4 " arms (longer than Linderbaum's 31 1/8" actually). Which is very long for a DB, especially one that is only 6'0, as usually you see this on 6'3+ DBs if at all. 

 

I remember Seattle during their Legion of Boom days - they were notorious for not taking any DBs without 32" arms, despite the fact that most CBs have 30-31" arms on average.  

 

Then I remember Lou the Bengals D coordinator talking the other day and he said he likes length and long arms on his DBs.

 

The 9 most critical plays that kept Michigan football undefeated through 6  games

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