One intriguing option for Steelers with the 20th pick in the draft
The Steelers could end up drafting Michigan safety Daxton Hill with their 20th overall pick, as he can help with secondary depth and other things.
The Steelers’ biggest need heading into the draft is a strong safety. Terrell Edmunds remains in free agency and other safties like Tyrann Mathieu, Keanu Neal, and Damontae Kazee continue to be just rumored to Pittsburgh.
The Steelers can make a move and bring in any one of these guys or anyone else before the draft and just pick the best player available, but this option is cheaper and the team will be getting a young chess piece on the defense for at least four years.
Daxton Hill is a very versatile player who can play either at safety or at cornerback, preferably in the slot if he were to play some corner. Hill stands at 6’0 191 pounds and spent the last three years with Jim Harbaugh at Michigan, where they accomplished a lot of things in that period.
Pittsburgh already has a CB/S player in 2021 seventh-round pick Tre Norwood, who impressed at times and got a lot of playing time for a seventh-rounder. One of the things Daxton does best is tackle, Brentley Weissman of The Draft Network calls him, “An ultra-competitive tackler.” He racked up 149 total tackles over 32 games in college.
Hill is a good fit with Steelers
The Steelers need better tacklers and Hill is a great open-field tackler as well as a desirable player to have in run support because he is quick to register plays. Another thing I’ve noticed about his tackling is that it’s very explosive and he likes to go down low, which is what you primarily do when you tackle bigger players like a Travis Kelce or a Derrick Henry type of player.
Daxton Hill could add needed speed to the secondary for the Pittsburgh Steelers, he ran a 4.38 40-yard dash at the combine, which is the 14th fastest time in this year’s combine. Hill doesn’t create a lot of turnovers, just 4 interceptions and zero forced fumbles while in college, but the Steelers already have players who create turnovers at different positions so interceptions and forced fumbles from him would be a bonus, due to him excelling in other areas.
Hill creates a lot of chances to make interceptions by knocking passes around or just being in the area of the ball, his ball skills are impressive. Like Troy Polamalu, Daxton Hill always seems to find a way to the ball, whether that’s in the backfield or breaking up a pass 15 yards down the field. Daxton would also be an amazing special teamer, and I’m sure we all know how much the Steelers like their special teams.
The former 5-star recruit can make an impact on the Steeler’s defense if he were to be drafted by them, his quickness, football IQ, and explosiveness make him a great defender both in zone coverage and in the run game, where it seems like he can read the eyes of the quarterback.
The Steelers may even be able to trade back in the first round and still be able to get him, but I’ve seen scenarios where the Patriots get him with the 21st overall pick and the Patriots love to get these kinds of players, especially since one of Hill’s player comparisons is Devin McCourty.