The K.C. Chiefs have officially finished Week 1 and will be looking to take on the Baltimore Ravens in Week 2. The Ravens have yet to show that they can beat the Chiefs, and given how the game played out last year in primetime, we could be in for another blowout.
It’s not easy when facing a competitor like the Chiefs when you have men down, but it’s all part of the game. Losing running back J.K. Dobbins then Gus Edwards and also losing Marcus Peters, the Baltimore Ravens have had to deal with a lot of adversity. With that being said, the Chiefs faced that as well in Week 1.
The Chiefs almost lost to the Browns last Sunday after ruling out star defensive players: Willie Gay Jr., Frank Clark, and Tyrann Mathieu. Although they did walk away with a win, it wasn’t a pretty one. There were a lot of problems on defense and, quite frankly, the Chiefs got lucky. After not having a single stop outside of a fumble going into the fourth-quarter, the Chiefs defense really showed up.
What worries me is what happens after the potential loss of Mathieu next spring (without a contract extension), and if Clark does end up facing charges down the line. I feel that this game gave me a good idea on what we should look for with their first-round pick: Daxton Hill, safety from Michigan.
Daxton Hill is a name to watch rising up draft boards this year. After transitioning defensive coordinators, Hill’s full potential could spark.
Hill was able to grab the attention of multiple big school’s including Alabama, Oklahoma, Clemson, and Michigan. After coming out of Booker T. Washington High School in Tulsa, OK, it was surprising to see him chose the University of Michigan over more local schools.
Nonetheless, Hill was a five-star recruit who was at the top of his class (2019). Hill was ranked as the number one safety in Oklahoma, the number one safety in the entire class, and 14th ranked player in the class of 2019. Hill had a lot to live up to given the name that surrounded him, and he might have just found it.
Daxton Hill is a incredible talent, and what he offers is hard to find. He has shown in the small margin of games he’s started that he can go in and take care of business. Hill shows great athleticism at the safety position as well, but that isn’t too surprising. When you are ranked as a five-star recruit out of high school, you generally have done something right.
Hill’s athleticism stands out within his versatility to take charge in man coverage, play over-the-top, or play in the box. Although he doesn’t have a lot of film of him playing in man coverage, after watching the game against Indiana last season, he showed some incredibly impressive traits. He was able to hang with the receiver regardless of the routes and not only make great tackles, but in a couple scenarios even make plays on the football. Watching him guard a rub route or a slant, and he is there step-by-step with the receiver. For a safety, it’s impressive.
Next thing you need to know about Hill is his speed—something that shouldn’t be overlooked. Hill has the ability to move around the field and be assertive on the tackles, but it’s also impressive how fast he gets there. No matter where he is playing on the field, he is there to make plays at all times. The speed pops off on film, the way he finds himself involved in the plays regardless of where he is in coverage.
Hill is a assertive player who is willing to give it everything in order to make plays for his team. On top of everything I’ve already said, watching his ball skills this season should be very interesting. In some scenarios last season he was able to break-up passes that I had no idea he could even get to or make plays on.
I hinted at this in the Strengths category, but it’s time to really touch on this. Hill was a five-star recruit out of high school, that much I feel I’ve made clear, but he didn’t start until last year. As a freshman, he didn’t really make an impact, and although there were some games he shined in last year, it was hard to get a grasp on the ceiling and floor of his game.
With Michigan getting a new defense coordinator this year, Hill has looked to be the star in the secondary, but once again, it’s early. Hill is going to be an interesting to watch due to his limited time on the field. Can he match the projected ceiling of being a top safety in the NFL? Or will he hit his floor, which is a play-call dependent safety?
There are a lot of unknowns with Hill coming into the year, but if he meets his potential, he could be a huge get for the Chiefs. Spagnuolo runs a lot of man coverage and likes to mix in certain packages that utilize the safeties in both coverage and blitzes. With Hill having the versatility and the perfect skill-set to do that, he could be a ideal get for the Chiefs this year.