Using the 31st overall pick, they selected safety Daxton Hill from The University of Michigan. Hill, a versatile safety who has a similar skillset of Jessie Bates III, so it makes you wonder how confident the team is in a long term deal with Bates.
Michigan’s defensive rookie of the year in 2019, Hill is the perfect hybrid safety/nickel corner for defensive coordinator Lou Anarumo to move around the field. With the ability to cover receivers and cover the run, Hill looks like someone who will fit nicely into the Bengals defensive scheme.
The best parts of Hill’s game are his explosiveness, fluid hips and his knack to stay disciplined and read the keys of quarterbacks. His ability to cover has one NFC scout thinking a team may try to make him a full time cornerback.
Where Hill lacks a bit is tackling. While he’s explosive enough to get into position, he will have to work on finishing tackles and keeping his pads low. If that improves, and he gets a bit better at shedding blocks, the Bengals could have struck gold with an impact player.
In all, the Bengals come away from Night 1 of the draft with a versatile player with extremely high upside and offering some reassurance in a position group that isn’t certain past this season.
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