At just under 6-2 (6015) and 196 pounds with 32-inch arms, Holton Hill has the size of a Seattle Seahawks cornerback. Hill impressed at the Scouting Combine: Among corners on the Seahawks Draft Board, Hill posted the fourth-best three cone, third-best short shuttle and was one of only two corners with 32-plus inch arms to run a sub-4.5 40-yard dash.
Hill was an immediate contributor at the University of Texas as a freshman, playing in 11 games and totaling 49 tackles as well as one interception. After playing just five games as a sophomore, Hill entered 2017 as one of the most highly anticipated cornerback prospects in the nation. However, a suspension ended his final season with the Longhorns after just nine games and the character concerns that stem from it will likely see Hill slip in the draft.
Hill reacts to the football with good anticipation and his length allows him to get back into most plays. As a bigger bodied cornerback, teams used inside-breaking routes and mesh concepts to get Hill off and chasing, however he consistently closed and made the play for little gain.
In terms of athletic ability, Hill has the fluidity and functional speed to stay in phase with wide receivers on vertical routes:
Or crash off the edge and affect the play in the backfield. Although he doesn’t get to Sam Darnold here, he shrugs off Ronald Jones with ease and forces Darnold into throwing it away:
Hill plays extremely physically at every phase of a receiver’s route. Although he didn’t play much press at Texas, he has the length and physicality to succeed at it in the NFL. Hill has a tendency to rely on contact downfield, something that will result in flags at the next level.
On shallow and intermediate routes, Hill does a good job staying on top of the receiver and not allowing the big play:
Up on the line of scrimmage, Hill mirrors extremely well for his size, able to change direction moving inside before opening up his hips and running downfield with the receiver:
Although Hill didn’t play press coverage much with the Longhorns, he has the length, physicality and movement skills to be successful doing so. One concern would be how happy Hill seems to be to reach out and grab his man off the line of scrimmage if he’s late turning as the receiver gets into his break. Hill’s physicality is a great part of his game, but the grabbing needs to be addressed otherwise he’ll be flagged consistently.
With just three interceptions in three seasons at Texas, there are rightfully questions over his ball skills. A big part of that is being late turning his head around and finding the football. However, his length enables him to get back into most plays and at the very least, get into the receiver’s frame and break up the pass.
This perfectly encapsulates Hill’s game: Late off the line, the receiver has a step on him but Hill’s able to make up the separation due to his length, saving a touchdown:
On top of his size, length and movement skills, it’s Hill’s willingness to come up and play physical against the ball carrier that makes him an interesting prospect from a Seahawks standpoint. Look at Hill recognize the run and fly to the ball with intention:
Overall, Hill is a high-upside cornerback prospect who could offer a team great value because of flaws in his game and off-field concerns. Hill’s ceiling is as high as any cornerback in the 2018 NFL Draft’s second tier, however his floor is as low as any prospect in the draft, too. In the right situation, Hill could develop into an excellent outside cornerback.