Delano Hill Scout Report

After years of ignoring the secondary, the Seahawks took four Dbs in eleven possible picks. Last season's depth was bad with Kelcie McCray and Steven Terrell the Seattle side saw themselves short on quality backups, so to try and stop that from happening they picked safety Delano Hill in the 3rd round.
What can we except the young safety from Michigan to do?

Denalo Hill is a 21-year-old 6ft1 215lbs Safety from the University of Michigan. Hill played 32 games in his four college years. In those four seasons, he racked up 117 tackles ( 84 solo, 33 assists) with 7 tackles for loss. He got 3 interceptions with one of those being a pick six, he had 5 pass deflections, 1 fumble recovery and 1 forced fumble. During Hill's senior year he showed us a bit of versatility, lining up pretty much anywhere on the field.

Single high safety

Cover 2 defense (Strong Safety)

Cover 2 defense (Free Safety)

At the line of scrimmage (where he'd normally drop back and play zone)

Outside Corner (very uncommon but still happened a few times)

Next to the linebackers

He also showed us a great tackling ability (I honestly don't think I saw him miss a tackle!) and he was a solid player every time the ball came to him always pressuring his man and playing a very physical manner.

Denalo Hill tested quite well at the combine and was definitely a reason why the Seahawks picked him in the third round. A fast 40 yard dash and showed great intangible in all the other drills. Looking at pro comparisons for Hill we can see Superbowl winner Kenny Phillips, a nice sight for Seahawks fans as Kenny was a big part of the Giants Superbowl winning team. 
A funny side note is that the Seahawks (pre Pete Carroll) took Courtney Greene in the 7th round of the 2009 draft while he was projected to go in the 3rd/4th but a bad combine made him fall a lot. He never played for the Seahawks so he went to Jacksonville and played 3 seasons and while his stats look okay it seems like he was a case of a player that just couldn't handle the NFL but there's obviously more to players comparison than body types and combine stats so while Greene failed to show his skill consistently as he dropped off the pecking order it doesn't mean this will happen to Delano.

Strengths :

Denalo Hill is a very physical tackler, a hard hitter, when he has his arms wrapped around you he will take you down, I don't think I saw the kid whiff a tackle. Hill showed great versatility lining up pretty much everyone in the secondary and although he's mostly a free safety he managed to do a good job when assigned to different zones or players.
Whenever I saw him lined up as a corner he showed good hand fighting to lead the receiver off his route.
He doesn't blitz a lot but when he did he always recorded a hit, he didn't get a sack but when he rushed the quarterback he always timed it well.
The biggest praise I have for Hill is that he's an eraser, whenever a run breaks big Delano is always there to make the tackle and prevent a big gain or a touchdown.

Weaknesses :

There's only a few negatives about Hill and they are all based on coverage and ball skills aspects.
He doesn't have great ball skills and sometimes he won't make the play he should of much due to the lack of ability to read the quarterback despite being a solid pass defender. He's got stiff hip movement especially when trying to turn to defend on the outside. Hill also has a hard time recognising misdirections by the wide receivers so putting him up on man is a risk. I think the Seahawks can mask most of these issues by using Hill a lot closer to the line of scrimmage, much like Kam. Whenever the Seahawks need him to cover they should assign him a zone rather than having him paired up in man.

Overall, like I said with Griffin, Hill will benefit playing a numbered amount of snaps. I believe we will see Hill play a few times during a game because of his tackling ability. I can see him play a lot of Nickel Safety alongside McDougal or lining up next to the linebackers to stop the run.
Drafting Hill will also allow the Seahawks to move around Kam Chancellor, he can play deeper in coverage while Delano runs his role as the "enforcer" near the line of scrimmage.
I see this pick as a total hit, with Chancellor's contract running out at the end of the year the Seahawks needed to add an insurance player, and they got just that with Hill.
Some people question why Seattle took Hill in the 3rd as he was a 5th / 6th round projection but I think his tape and combine made Pete and John Schneider realize they had a potential gem there and without a 5th round pick, they didn't gamble and took the player when they had the chance.


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