Brandon Hill Scouting Report and NFL Draft Player Profile
Brandon Hill Scouting Report
2023 NFL Draft Measurements
Brandon Hill 40-Yard Dash Time- 4.35 (estimate)
5’11” / 195 lbs.
Brandon Hill Draft Profile
Brandon Hill is a former 3-star recruit out of Wekiva High School in Apopka, Florida. According to the Pittsburgh Panthers website, while in high school, he racked up 5 interceptions and 12 pass deflections. This helped him earn a three-star ranking on many recruiting websites. 247sports had him ranked as the 80th-best player in Florida and the 56th-best safety in the nation. This status earned him 23 Division I scholarship offers. Some of the schools that offered him were Purdue, UCF, Georgia Tech, and Pitt. After only visiting Pitt, it didn’t take long for him to decide to join the Panthers.
According to ESPN, he had a solid 2020 season as a redshirt freshman. During this season, he had 24 total tackles, 2 forced fumbles, 1 pick-six, and 1 pass deflection. Although he played 10 games during the 2020 season, he got significantly more snaps in 2021. In 14 total games, he had 71 tackles, 1 forced fumble, 1 fumble recovery, 1 interception, and 5 pass deflections. Finally, this season he played in 12 games where he had 67 tackles, 1 fumble recovery, and 2 pass deflections.
Brandon Hill is one of the best all-around athletes in this draft class. He has amazing downhill speed that allows him to stay with receivers deep down the field. It also allows him to catch up with the ball carrier when he has to make a play across the field. When lined up in the box, he is very quick which allows him to close out on receivers on screen routes. His acceleration also allows him to be effective against the run. When lined up in man coverage, he shows solid hip mobility that allows him to change directions quickly. This allows him to mirror defenders, making him almost impossible to shed. Hill’s foot speed also allows him to stay with his target throughout their route stem.
As mentioned earlier, Hill does a good job of staying with opposing receivers in man coverage. When backpedaling, he shows amazing foot speed and balance. This allows him to stay with his target throughout their route stem. When they make a break in their route, he is good at flipping his hips and exploding in the direction of the receiver. I should note that he does have a tendency to flip his hips the wrong way against a double move. When defending a receiver deep down the field, his top speed allows him to stay with even the quickest receivers.
As well as being a gifted athlete, Hill is also a very instinctual player. On passing plays, he does a good job of reading the QB’s eyes while staying with his target. He can then get a jump on where the QB is throwing the ball so he can make a play. When lined up in the box against run plays, he does a good job of keeping his eye on the ball. This allows him to quickly react and close out on the ball carrier by clogging a lane at the line.
As mentioned throughout this report, Hill is at his best when he can act as a run-stopper. Prior to the snap, he does a good job of scanning the field to read the offense. When the ball is snapped, he is quick to react so he can develop a plan to stop the run. Once he has developed the plan, he lets his athleticism take over.
The biggest concern that I have surrounding Brandon Hill is his lack of size. Compared to most of the other safeties in this class, he is slightly smaller. His lack of size can make him inconsistent against bigger receivers and tight ends in coverage. It also hinders his ability to make tackles on those players and contest throws down the field.
As mentioned earlier, Hill’s lack of size can hinder his ability to make tackles. When watching his film, I saw several plays where his tackles were too low and easily breakable. In order for him to be a better tackler, he needs to work on hitting higher and harder. This will allow him to bring down bigger receivers.
Brandon Hill NFL Draft Stock
Although Brandon Hill is a gifted athlete, he still has lots of room to grow before seeing the field in the NFL. Before consistently seeing the field, he needs to improve his ability to make stops in zone coverage. He also needs to work on bringing down bigger receivers which can be hard for him since he is a smaller safety. This leads me to believe that Hill will likely be taken in the 6th or 7th round.
Final Thoughts on Brandon Hill Scouting Report
Hill is one of the most athletic defensive backs in the 2023 NFL Draft class. He has an amazing blend of quickness and downhill speed. This allows him to stay with opposing receivers when in man coverage. His quickness also allows him to close out on the ball carrier below him. Before and during the play, Hill also shows good instincts to read and adjust to the offense. He is also good against the run game due to his ability to quickly clog lanes at the line. Before he can be a consistent starter in the NFL, he needs to work on adding some weight to his frame. This will allow him to bring down receivers easier.
Brandon Hill Player Comparison
When watching his film, he kept showing me glimpses of Vonn Bell. Although Hill has a long way to go before he is as good as Bell, they are very similar. They both have very fluid hips which makes them very good in man coverage. Their instincts are also very similar because they can quickly diagnose the offense quickly after the snap. Hill also reminds me of a smaller and more raw Jaquan Brisker.
Brandon Hill Scouting Report and Player Profile Analyst – Matthew Lewis