This article initially would be explaining how Daxton Hill’s role would be majorly important on a Cincinnati Bengals defense without Jessie Bates. Now that Bates is back, Hill’s role is still extremely vital.
In the preseason Daxton Hill has shined. Not much in week one against the Arizona Cardinals, having one tackle and almost his first interception. But in week two, things started to click for Hill. Against the New York Giants, Hill was able to get his first interception, he had six total tackles and four solo tackles. In the Giants game, Hill also stopped their offense from a first down, being able to run across the field and make a tackle to cause a third down stoppage. Many people expected Daxton Hill to be the starting safety once, as well many people were worried about Jessie Bates’ return. It turns out there is nothing to worry about and Hill will most likely be starting.
When the Bengals drafted Daxton Hill at pick 31, many attributes came with the player out of Michigan. His speed in coverage and his ability to also rush the quarterback if needed are some. He ran a 4.38 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine, and he does play well in the slot corner position. A few ways he will be utilized in Cincinnati are as a slot corner and a free safety. With Jessie Bates signing the franchise tag, that gives him one more year until he can become a free agent, which leads to the question of “What next?” Once the 2022 NFL season is over, the Bengals will be looking at which contracts they will need to give an extension, and who to pay. The biggest being quarterback Joe Burrow, wide receiver Tee Higgins, and if we’re really looking into the future, Ja’Marr Chase as well. Looking towards the future, Daxton Hill is primed to be in a big starting role. When the time does come, the Bengals will need to make that decision on Bates, and with Daxton Hill in the mix, it’ll make things easier on which contracts will be extended first.
With Daxton Hill being on a rookie contract, he is taking up less cap space, and his progression in his rookie year will be key to the Jessie Bates situation. With Hill taking first-team reps in training camp, it’s not a surprise how smooth his transition from college to the NFL has been. Even though the Bengals will have Bates back, Hill has stepped up and coaches do think he is a good fit. Daxton Hill will be starting this upcoming NFL season, whether that’s in the slot corner or the free safety position, he is a good complement to Jessie Bates.