Delano Hill is a relatively forgotten name in a loaded secondary class out of Michigan this year. Other big names such as Channing Stribling, Jabrill Peppers, and Jourdan Lewis received more recognition than Hill mainly due to their ability to create plays. Although Hill may lack the name recognition or big play ability of the other Wolverines in this class, he does have the traits that project well to the NFL.
Hill only started 13 games in his first three seasons at Michigan, but went on to start all 12 games his senior year and earned All-Big Ten Second Team honors for his breakout campaign. For the season, Hill tallied 50 tackles, 4.5 tackles for a loss, and 3 interceptions. For his entire career at Michigan, Hill garnered 117 tackles, 7.0 tackles for a loss, and 3 interceptions to go along with 5 pass deflections.
Hill was the safety net of Michigan’s defense last season, playing as the last resort at free safety while the other playmakers flew to the ball. He loves to hit and did his fair share of it too but his ultimate role was to be the sure tackler in the backend of the defense and other players thrived from that. Delano Hill may not have the most impressive or jaw dropping tape but he is a solid player who projects well to the pros.
Name: Delano Hill
Size: 6’1”/ 216 lbs/ 32 1/8” Arm Length
Comparison: Tony Jefferson (Baltimore Ravens)
Draft Grade: Mid 3rd Round
Combine: 40 Time: 4.47 seconds, Vertical: 33.5”, Broad: 115”, 3 Cone Drill: 6.96 seconds, 20 Yard Shuttle: 4.27 seconds
Strengths: Excellent tackler, especially in the open field. Rarely comes in with arm tackles, almost always brings the ball carriers down once he gets his hands on them. Very disciplined player, takes great angles when pursuing the ball carrier. Can play either safety spot, isn’t outstanding at either but has the ability to be solid in either role. Likes to play downhill but can also play as a single high safety as well. Above average as a nickel cornerback, excels at jamming receivers off the line and disrupting their routes. Very physical player which is exactly what you want to see from a player with his size. Worked his way to be a starter at Michigan, shows great work ethic. Athleticism along with excellent tackling ability project well as a special teams gunner.
Weaknesses: Doesn’t possess the range and instincts you look for in a free safety. As a nickel corner, he needs to make contact or jam the receiver to cover effectively. Lacks the footwork and lateral ability to matchup with quicker slot guys in the NFL. Not the most fluid athlete, struggles in and out of his backpedal at times. Impressive 40 time at the combine but that speed rarely shows on tape. Only had three interceptions at Michigan, two of which were terrible throws by Maryland’s backup quarterback, so playmaking ability is an issue. Lacks the upside to be a great player in the pros.
Overview: Delano Hill may be the safest player in this entire draft class. He is very technical and disciplined and also possesses enough athleticism to be very effective in the NFL. An ideal fit for him would be an aggressive, blitz heavy scheme where he can work in as a strong safety/nickel corner. Hill could also fit in very well on special teams where his athleticism and sound tackling would be a huge asset to any unit. I expect Hill to begin his career as a very good #3 safety on a team and then eventually work his way into a starting lineup one way or another.