Dax Hill A Lightning-Fast Defensive Back

April 22nd, 2022

Joe has been hearing more and more chatter that Michigan safety Dax Hill might just be the Bucs’ pick at No. 27.

 Joe had no interest in the guy because he is labeled as a safety. Don’t the Bucs have enough of those? Then Joe was informed that this Hill ran a 4.38 40-yard dash. What? That’s cornerback speed!

Well, Joe’s research shows Hill projects as a nickel corner versatile enough — so good against the run — that he can pretty much play anywhere in the secondary if needed.

In fact, he looks and sounds like a bigger and speedier version of Antoine Winfield.

In Dane Brugler’s “The Beast” draft guide at The Athletic, Hill is listed as his No. 2 safety behind only Notre Dame’s Kyle Hamilton (who sure looks like the next Ed Reed).

SUMMARY: A three-year starter at Michigan, Hill lined up as the slot nickel in former defensive coordinator Mike Macdonald’s man-zone scheme. His role and impact steadily grew each of the past three seasons in Ann Arbor, culminating in a standout 2021 season where he led the team in both passes defended and interceptions. Hill plays with the athletic twitch and transitional quickness to interchangeably play slot-man, deep safety or in the box and can just as easily lay licks in the run game as he can cover the slot fade. He displays the competitive temperament and awareness to smother in zone or man, although he can do a better job exploding through his target as a tackler or blitzer. Overall, Hill might not have elite size or length, but his versatile package of skills (athletic range, toughness, football IQ) make him the ideal nickel defender in today’s NFL. He should be a rookie starter as either a split safety or slot defender.

Joe gets hungup on the word “safety.” The Bucs may have too many safeties. Joe is much more interested in a corner at No. 27. Full-time. With Hill running faster than Carlton Davis and Sean Murphy-Bunting and having impressive skills and instincts, perhaps Hill can be trained to be a full-time corner.

Anyway, Hill is not shy about sticking his nose in the breadbasket of ballcarriers. That is very much a welcome trait at corner for the Bucs.

Below are Hill’s highlights. (Damnit Jim Harbaugh, will you please stick with the maize pants? Why screw with one of the best uniforms in football?)

39 Responses to “Dax Hill A Lightning-Fast Defensive Back”

  1. K2 Says:

    CB is one of the most difficult transitions in the NFL for rookies to make. On top of that you want the guy to change position from safety to CB….which “might” be possible over the next few years. Win now?

  2. Bucsfan4ever Says:

    They all sound like the next superstar in the write-ups.
    Maybe round two.

  3. Beeej Says:

    Good cbs make more money than good safeties, I’m sure he’d be amenable to it

  4. JA Says:

    Looks like a good player on a great defense to me. Can’t remember watching a highlight reel where the highlighted player made so many tackles with 2-3 guys assisting him.
    Hill is a consensus first rounder?
    Rewatch McCreary’s reel and tell me who you’d rather have playing for the Bucs in 2022.

  5. Steven007 Says:

    I like Hill as a fallback plan. Meaning if the elite defensive and offensive lineman are no longer there. And cornerbacks. It would really have to be an unfavorable draft that fell to us if we were to grab him instead of one of the players we’re surely targeting in one of our greater areas of need. Would more likely see us trading back if that were the case.

  6. Robert Says:

    wtf is up with all these CB posts?

    We need DL, DE, OL, TE etc…..many more needs before DB

  7. kyle Says:

    thank you robert

  8. Marine Buc Says:

    I like the versatility and the speed. Can play the slot CB position in Nickel and Dime. Can play single high safety and is solid against the run.

    If there are no IDL, OLB or WR available he could be the pick.

  9. Buczilla Says:

    We have plenty of safeties and nickel corners. If Bowles thinks that this guy can at least be good as an outside corner I’m cool with us picking him. Our best guy on the outside (Davis) is nothing special and the rest pretty much stink.

  10. #8 Says:

    Concur Robert.

  11. Alanbucsfan Says:

    Vernon Hargreaves, Jonathan Banks, Rod Jones, 2022?

  12. D-Rok Says:

    This Hill diagnoses plays extremely fast. Seems like a good versatile pick.

  13. Joe Says:

    We need DL, DE, OL, TE etc…..many more needs before DB

    Joe has explained several times about corners. Both here and on Ira’s pod. Even Ira agrees with a corner at No. 27.

  14. sasquatch Says:

    The team does have plenty of safeties, however only Winfield is under contract past this season. Additionally, we’ve only got one strong safety in Neal and there are question about whether he can cover. Hill sounds like he can play in the box, up high, or on the boundary. Joe might be all-in for this year, but drafting is about the future, and with only 1 safety under contract after this year, Hill would make a lot of sense, even if he can’t play corner. Big bonus if he can.

    DT is still a greater need… though picking one in round one is beginning to look less likely. Logan Hall in round 2 maybe.

  15. 1#bucsfan Says:

    In todays passing league if the safety can cover n tackle get a bunch of them. Safety is just a labeled. If the guy can play anywhere in the secondary grab him. You can never n go mean never have to many pass rushers or DB JOE !!

  16. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    @ Robert

    One of the Joes wants a CB…..the other a WR……becoming quite obvious…..

    I guess they think Licht will be influenced by the articles…..

    I wouldn’t be opposed to a CB…..there are several good ones in this draft…..probably a good pick for the short-term & long-term……

    But, that will lock us into a 2nd round DT pick…..not sure there are enough to have a good one drop that far to us.

  17. Dooley Says:

    I mean if you want to draft Mike Edwards again, just say so

  18. Joe Says:

    I guess they think Licht will be influenced by the articles…

    So Joe should run this site based on Jason Licht’s whims? Email him at 4 am each morning and ask him what stories he’d like to read?

    Joe’s not allowed to have his own opinions and thoughts?

  19. Chris@Apple Roof Cleaning Tampa Says:

    I am sort of OK with drafting him, just not in round one.
    As another poster pointed out, he was a good player, on a great defense!
    He had the benefit of playing with Aiden Hutchinson, who may go number one in the draft.
    I like him, but just don’t think he is round one material.

  20. Pickgrin Says:

    It shouldn’t be that hard to understand why the Bucs need to draft a CB early this year.

    – You need starter level talent so the CB has to be drafted no later than rd 3.

    – It takes most young DBs a year or 2 to adjust to the NFL and be effective

    – Bucs are paying Davis $15M per – so there’s no way they can pay Dean AND
    SMB market value when their rookie deals expire after this year….

    – Last year showed that our DBs (CBs especially) are not all that ‘durable’

    Dax Hill shows a lot of what you want in the defensive backfield – but unless the plan would be to convert him to full time outside CB – Bucs should be targeting either a DL player or a pure CB if there is one on the board they really like at #27.

    We’ve already got plenty of “slot” defenders on the roster. If SMB continues to disappoint or gets hurt again – I feel good about either Mike Edwards or Ryan Smith in that role – and of course Winfield Jr can play slot too if needed.

  21. Pickgrin Says:

    Ha Ha – Ryan Smith…. thats quite the brain fart

    Meant Logan Ryan of course….

  22. Cho Says:

    It’s all about instincts. If he has them, good. If he’s only fast and can hit he’s probably not going to be a great player.

  23. Riki Says:

    We will draft a safety just because Joe doesn’t want one.

  24. Commander Says:

    I’d prefer Cine to Hill. Cine had a faster 40 are the combine and he never misses a tackle. Plus he can play SS and FS equally as well.

  25. Robert Says:

    Joe has explained several times about corners. Both here and on Ira’s pod. Even Ira agrees with a corner at No. 27.

    love the site joe, and yeah you can post whatever opinion you want obviously.

    just hope ira didn’t agree with you on jw.

  26. Esteban85 Says:

    I sure like the looks of Hill more than Booth Jr. I read booth has a disease that causes his leg to swell and he’s coming off hernia surgery. Doesn’t sound like he will last in the league. This dude Hill seems like a cornerback who can tackle. I like this pick if we move back to the end of the first.

  27. SlyPirate Says:


    Don’t you mean every knowledge post in the article you bashed on the kid? Give your readers our props.

  28. Tim R. Says:

    I think that a DT should be the first pick. If a quality TE is available in round 2 take him. It might be a good idea to trade up in order to get a Te that is has starting ability. That’s if Gronk decides not to play.

  29. Kalind Says:

    I don’t even need to read this article. Just no. If they draft a FIFTH!!!!! Safety in the first round I’m gonna lose my S. How dumb can you be?

  30. WillieG Says:

    Can he return kicks? If so, grab him.

  31. Show Me the TDs Says:

    Those are his “highlights”? Meh

  32. JeffreyLane77 Says:

    I would be happy with DT,OL,CB. I have a feeling the best DL
    And OL will be gone. So Tampa will either take best CB available. Or Best Linebacker available. Too me Cornerback makes sense this year. At 27 overall an excellent linebacker or corner Will be available. For those who want a guy to replace JPP. We already drafted that guy in JTS.

    I’m looking in my crystal ball and I predict over the next couple drafts Cornerbacks are going to start being drafted higher than in the past.

  33. steele Says:

    CB or S, just cover and stop Cooper Kupp.

  34. David Says:

    Winfield, Neal, Edwards, Logan…
    That’s 4 good safeties and only Logan is over 26 years old. I can’t see them drafting a safety. May be a CB if there’s a good one available that they think is better than any of the D or O lineman

    Maybe they view Logan and Edwards as adding to the CBs because they both play the slot. Not sure, just thinking out loud

  35. GOB Says:

    It’s a tough position. I grew up with SS and FS. The positions really don’t translate anymore. If you cant guard a good TE, or play exceptional center field, then you’re really just a bad corner. Like Joe said, the bucs have plenty of bad corners. Logan Ryan has guarded the third best reciever, the vast majority of his career. He wasn’t the upgrade the bucs needed. Corner help is a must in the draft and, at the trade deadline. The bucs can’t allow what happened last year. It would be tantamount to malpractice.

  36. Joe in Michigan Says:

    JA Says:
    Rewatch McCreary’s reel and tell me who you’d rather have playing for the Bucs in 2022.
    Vernon Hargreaves looked good on his highlight reel, too.

  37. David Says:

    The reality is they have drafted extremely well the last several years and I will have faith in them with whoever they pick.
    Personally, I really want them to make a play for Jordan Davis because I think him alongside VEA makes the edge rushers better which makes all the DBs better and puts Devon White in the Hall of Fame.
    Secures the defense for several years.

  38. David Says:

    6 days!!! Can’t wait!
    For all the talk and speculation, I am going to trust them with the first three rounds because their track record has been really good the last few years. I will never be one of those people who get all upset and boo my team for picking someone when I thought they should’ve picked someone else. That makes no sense because we are not in position to have all the resources and data that they have. Obviously if you’re a Detroit Lions fan your point is more valid.

    Watch the tape of the Eagles fans going crazy with anger because they took Donovan McNabb at QB. No they never won a Super Bowl but he was a really really good QB for a long time. It’s just a ridiculous look.

  39. Buccaneric Says:

    Great highlights. I feel good about any player from a pro-style defense like Harbaugh runs. That’s about as NFL ready as it gets.