Dax Hill Scouting Report: NFL Draft Prospect Report
Defensive Back, Michigan, # 30
6′ 0″ / 192 lbs
40 Time: 4.30 seconds as a high school senior
Dax Hill NFL Draft Scouting Report Player Profile
Daxton “Dax” Hill isn’t the first member of the family to have NFL aspirations. Dax is the younger brother of former Oklahoma State running back Justice Hill, now of the Baltimore Ravens. Needless to say, he obviously has the genetics and pedigree to play in the NFL. But unlike his brother who would stay in Oklahoma, Dax found his way from Tulsa to Ann Arbor to play college ball.
As the number one rated safety in the Nation in the 2019 class he would choose the Wolverines after committing to Alabama briefly before signing day. He explains why in this article. He played high school ball at Booker T. Washington, the same school that produced Seahawk’s star Tyler Lockett.His senior season he would amass a stat line of 93 tackles, 9 tackles for loss, 1 sack, 2 interceptions, 3 forced fumbles, 1 recovery, and 9 passes defended.
As a freshman he would play in 13 games while earning 3 starts. In 2020 as a sophomore he would start in all six games during the covid shortened season. He would finish second on the team with 46 tackles and add 1 interception. Now his junior season he already has 2 interceptions after the first 6 games.
Hill has always been known as an elite athlete. Can he put the mental aspect and the intangibles together as well? He has shown promise so far in 2021 but has a ways to go.
Dax Hill Strengths
When we talk about athleticism players as gifted as Hill stand out from the crowd. As a senior he produced the best SPARQ Rating of all safeties. SPARQ is an acronym for Speed, Power, Reaction, and Quickness. He registered a 4.3 second 40 time and 43.6 inch vertical. His athleticism is right up there with the Top safety in the 2022 Draft class Kyle Hamilton. His speed, quickness, and explosion are elite. He is a little slender for a safety and should look to add some strength.
Hill has experience as a single deep and two deep safety. He also has experience in the slot and a little as an outside corner as well. I know many people have him ranked as a safety but I truly feel he is a versatile defensive back and shouldn’t be given a safety designation. When watching film for the Dax Hill scouting report I see him playing in slot more than anything.
I wouldn’t say he is dominate at any one location but has developed into a Swiss army knife type player. His ability to blitz from the slot with his other worldly acceleration and burst is second to none.
Destroys WR & Bubble Screens
This is one of my favorite parts of Dax Hill’s game. Don’t even try to throw a WR screen or bubble screen at his side of the field. He is always watching the back field and quarterback’s eyes. He diagnoses screens incredibly fast and fights through WR blocks with his twitchiness. Rarely does the receiver even get back to the line of scrimmage.
Developing Ball Skills
I would like to see his ball skills continue to improve but they are developing. He made a great interception recently against Nebraska. He is running with Nebraska tight end Austin Allen and he first uses his speed to close the gap and make the play on the ball.
While fully stretched out he adjusts his body to catch the already deflected pass. His body control on the play was a thing of beauty. Maybe he should have been in better position though seeing how he was running with a 6’ 9” 260 lb tight end.
Areas for Dax Hill to Improve
Finding His Position
n the NFL I rarely see players become a jack of all trades or Elite at multiple positions. Where will teams see Hill’s best fit? He is listed as a safety by most scouts and was listed there coming out of high school. However, he plays most of his snaps in the slot. How high will a team value a slot cornerback in the draft.
Hill has the size, speed, and vertical to be a successful outside corner but he would need a lot more experience at the position to refine his skills. If a team sees him there they will look at him as a project but one that might be worth taking a risk on.
Eyes in the Backfield TOO Much
I feel like I’m beating a dead horse here but Hill plays the slot mostly. He tends to watch the backfield too long and allows receivers to get a step on him. Maybe he feels as if he can use his speed to catch up? I don’t think he can. Against Wisconsin he gets beat more than once in man coverage on deeper routes. 1 for a touchdown. I’m surprised more offensive coordinators don’t try to isolate him in man coverage.
In zone he looks good when the ball is thrown over the middle but if teams run out routes he is usually slow to cover as he is looking in the backfield. Receivers tend to find soft zones near him on the outside. The one positive that comes from him looking to play down hill is he tends to make plays on balls in front of him.
Consistency in Coverage
Hill may be a linebacker in a defensive backs body based on how he seems to want to play the game at times. He has all the physical tools and gifts one could want. When he is asked to cover I see good and bad. One play I will see him on his toes and making quick turns with his hips while backpedaling. The next he is flat footed and allows the receiver to get on him untouched allowing the receiver to create easy separation on his cut.
I believe as he finds his true position in the NFL and gets more and more reps he will clean this up. His versatility may be a good or bad thing as it hasn’t allowed him to master one craft.
Dax Hill Draft Stock
When thinking about this portion of the Dax Hill scouting report I have struggled to decide how teams will view the talented young man. Hill’s draft position will depend on where teams see him. Safety? Corner? Only they know. The 2022 NFL Draft class is a strong one at both positions according to me and most others. This isn’t necessarily a good thing for Dax Hill.
I would feel comfortable taking him in the third or forth round. Teams who value the combine numbers may take him as early as late round 1 though. If you ask me that’s way too early. He doesn’t make my top 5 safeties or top 10 corners at this point. I want to reiterate he is talented but this is a very deep class of defensive backs.
Final Thoughts on Dax Hill
Hill is yet another player that fits the Swiss Army knife role for me. A role I’m not keen on early in drafts for many teams. I’m left thinking he needs more growth and wonder how many times the pass rush for Michigan has saved him from being exposed in coverage. Hill doesn’t fit into my positional rankings as a first, second or even third rounder based on play and production.
Teams who value combine numbers and potential will most definitely value him higher than I do. His ceiling is higher than some of the players I would take before him. Not a knock on him at all just I tend to look for a little less risk. If he can land on a team with a good cornerbacks coach he may develop into an elite cover man in a few years if he puts his heart into it.
Dax Hill NFL Comparison: I see Hill as a more athletic Josh Bledsoe who was drafted by the Patriots just last season. That being said I would value Hill much more than Bledsoe entering the draft. I feel Hill is ahead of where Bledsoe was this time last year in most facets of the game. I would never project Bledsoe to play corner as well as I do Hill.
Dax Hill Scouting Report by Ken Noble