Lavert Hill is one of the more talented senior cornerbacks in the 2020 NFL Draft and he faces a tough match-up against Notre Dame Saturday.
The 5-foot-11, 182-pound defensive back is in his third season as a starter and has had a relatively quiet start to his season.
Cornerbacks don’t typically fill up the box score with tackles, but you would still like to see more production than the 11 tackles that he’s been able to manage so far this season.
He isn’t overly aggressive in run support and it would be encouraging to see him get a little more involved this weekend. Hill is an effective tackler that can finish when the ball comes his way in coverage, but he needs to play with a little more aggression as a run defender.
Despite his limited production to start the season, Hill has been able to pick off two passes already, and he’s provided a stabilizing force in Michigan’s secondary.
Hill offers inside-outside versatility at the college level but he’s typically lined up at left cornerback. His frame is a bit undersized from a bulk standpoint and there’s a chance he could be limited to playing the nickel at the next level.
He typically lines up in press man and displays fluidity and speed going vertical. Hill flashes effective ability in press, but there are times where he struggles to stay on top of the route and will allow clean inside releases.
Michigan doesn’t ask him to jam very often, and you have to wonder if that might change against an Irish receiving group that has the size to create mismatches against their smaller corners.
Hill has times where he struggles when asked to play off man coverage and will get caught in trash, allowing his assignment to get separation in the horizontal passing game.
Irish receiver Chase Claypool is a big, physical vertical threat that finds success on drag routes, and he will test Hill’s strength vertically at the catch point. Expect to see the Hill-Claypool matchup often on Saturday.
Hill is a consistent performer in the Michigan secondary, but he’s been unable to have a performance that helps him stand-out amongst a talented group of cornerbacks in the 2020 NFL Draft.
While he might not project to be a lock-down corner at the next level, he’s an intriguing prospect that could start to gain steam with a strong performance on Saturday.