Rewind back to the start of the season and I bet not many people thought Holton Hill, the UDFA out of Texas, would be starting a game at CB for us given the depth we had at the position. With rookie Mike Hughes our for the year with a torn ACL and Xavier Rhodes out with an ankle injury, that’s exactly what happened. This past Sunday, Holton Hill was asked to fill the shoes of Xavier Rhodes in a prime time showdown vs Hall of Fame QB Drew Brees and together we are going to take a look at how he did.
In the clip below, Hill is playing towards the bottom of your screen. You can see the WR is trying to get Hill to bite on something so that he can try and create separation. But Hill remains disciplined and isn’t fazed, he quickly flips his hip and stays right on the WR for solid coverage.
Coming out of college Hill was touted as a CB who was aggressive, and would keep the action in front of him. Well that’s what you’ll see in this next clip. At the top of your screen you’ll seem him play off the WR and he allows the play to come to him. As he backpedals he notices Brees is targeting his guy. Hill quickly accelerates and drives towards the ball to force a pass breakup.
Having great instincts and tackling well in open space are two great attributes of an NFL cornerback and while it was only his first start, Holton Hill did a great job of that in this clip below. He’s lined up on the top of your screen, and as he is covering his WR he sees Brees targeting the WR underneath. Hill abandons his guy and drives towards the WR and makes a great open field tackle.
Hip fluidity, the ability to quickly “flip your hips” while running and maintaining your speed. No, that’s not the proper definition, but it is a key part of playing CB in the NFL. We talked about it in a previous clip but in this one I want you to focus on Hill on the bottom of your screen. Watch him as he backpedals and tracks his WR and the right when the receiver is getting to ready to cut Hill quickly flips his hips and stays right on him. Even though this was a run play, you have to praise Hill for good coverage had it been a pass.
In this final clip we see Hill lined up at the top of your screen. Again just playing a little off which can be helpful for a young CB to keep everything in front of him. As you watch him through the play you can see his instincts kick in and he uses his explosiveness to drive towards the WR and while he doesn’t get there in time to make a play on the ball, he makes another solid tackle.
Coming out of college many experts said Hill had a lot of potential, but his off the field issues would be what potentially held him back. The Vikings took a chance and trusted their coaches and veterans to help guide this young man in hopes of getting the best out of him. It’s very early in the process but it would appear Hill is on the right path to reaching his potential and it’s already paying dividends for the Vikings. Kudos to Hill for a solid performance vs a HOF QB and we can only hope that this is the beginning of something great! Skol!