Daxton Hill is an extremely intriguing prospect in terms of where he will best fit at the next level. Hill lined up all over the formation at Michigan in a variety of packages and roles, and played well in almost all of them. He’s a stout run defender, has the ability to play coverages all across the field, and is capable immediately at the next level as a solid slot defender.
Year: Redshirt Sophomore
High School: Booker T Washington (Tulsa, OK)
HS Rating: 5 star (0.9927)
Phil Steele: PS#2
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Daxton Hill Complete Scouting Report
Very good speed for the position. Fluid athlete. Moves very well and with little effort. 4.38 forty time looks about right on tape. Shows solid lateral quickness. Very good, quick feet. Smooth. Strong body control ability. Shows the ability to weave and work his way across the field at top speed to impact the play.
Hill is very lanky and is overall slightly undersized. Doesn’t show a lot of upper body strength and can get bullied on the perimeter. Explosive so there is strength there, but still could use some filling out overall. Very lanky, almost looks more like a basketball player. For a safety, Hill has some good bruteness to his game. Uses his speed as a means to transition into power. Has a solid hip rotation. Changes direction quickly and with ease. Very little transition time.
Really want to see Hill wrap up better. Relies on his hit power to knock a ball carrier over. Works well as an assist tackler. Dives low and uses his body to knock the ball carrier over typically. Showed some improvement as a wrap up tackler in 2021. Powerful hit with a running start. Missed 12% of his tackle attempts over his career, including 12.3% in 2021. Still made 69 tackles in 2021. Excellent pursuit angles all across the field. Closes very well from any position and shows the proper angle to make the stop. Very impressive. Times blitzes very well inside. Was largely ineffective working off of the perimeter.
Attacks the catch point well. Fights for positioning. Plays the pass before he plays the run. Has the ability to play effectively across several zones – deep coverage, single-high, the flats, and the hooks. Struggles to work through traffic in man coverage. Want to see him play to the ball better. Positioning is a little bit of an issue when he’s in those spots. Needs to learn to keep his hands off the receiver deep down field. Maybe too quick to commit at times and has to flip his hips sooner than he needs to.
Very decent space defender. Has improved as a tackler over the 2021 offseason which helps him. Smart, instinctual, and teams typically avoided his zone. Has some great instincts at times, and whiffs at others. Overall, shows a good instinctual ability to read/diagnose plays and simply feel out what the play will be. Rarely out of position. Consistently in the right place at the right time. Shows strong instincts from any point on the field. Very intelligent player.
Hill’s play recognition is a tick slow. He tends to play the pass first, settling into his zone or drop before working forward to play the run once he recognizes it. Even then, he sometimes doesn’t see run right away.
Very intelligent person. Stood by him for a few minutes at the NFL Combine and was blown away by his composure, quick calculations, and demeanor. No known off-field red flags. Will be a positive presence in a locker room.
Left the season opener against Minnesota in 2020 with an undisclosed injury. He played through it the following week against Michigan State. Got Covid right before the playoff loss to Georgia and was cleared the day of to play. I don’t see a lot of upside to Hills game, as he is very close to a finished product. His issue at the next level will be figuring out where he is going to play. I suppose his play recognition time could speed up and perhaps build onto his frame to add more strength. He’s going to be an effective player at the next level somewhere and has a very high floor.