It might be that we discover out quickly that we have now been experiencing the ultimate days of Mike Hilton as a member of the Pittsburgh Steelers, and if that’s the case, then the workforce will definitely be worse off for it. One of the crucial versatile defensive backs within the NFL, Hilton has been enjoying at a discount for the previous 4 seasons, however is now on account of be an unrestricted free agent, a long-awaited standing for the previous undrafted free agent.
I’d argue that one of many keys to his success has merely been understanding who’s he and what he’s able to. At 5’9” and sub-190 kilos, Hilton has by no means held any illusions about being something apart from a nickel defender, and it’s a job that he has embraced.
“It’s one thing I take satisfaction in. Over these final couple years, that nickel place has actually turn into a first-rate place”, he mentioned just lately throughout an interview on SiriusXM. “Groups began realizing when you have a man that may play that slot place, you may do lots defensively. Me simply being a bodily man, I knew it was the right place for me, and it positively performs to my strengths”.
Whereas he might lack in measurement, he definitely makes up for it in physicality, as evidenced by his 30 tackles for loss over the course of the previous 4 seasons, to not point out 9 and a half sacks. In fact, he additionally has seven interceptions throughout that point on high of it.
Whenever you hit the open market, although, you at all times open your self as much as what different groups would possibly envision for you. Whereas he informed his hosts that he can be open to doing no matter a workforce would ask him to do, similar to enjoying outdoors, he added, “I truthfully know that I’m probably higher on the within than I’m on the skin”.
“I do know, simply off private need, I would favor being inside”, he added. “It matches my strengths, my means to deal with and blitz and canopy the smaller, faster receivers. These are my strengths. That will positively play into my decision-making”.
It’s value noting that when Hilton missed 4 video games throughout the 2020 season, the Steelers made some important changes to accommodate for his absence, even utilizing a five-linebacker sub-package in an effort to attempt to replicate the physicality that they’d misplaced.
But the reality is that there nonetheless aren’t that many gamers like Hilton on the market, which is without doubt one of the causes that many imagine he’ll hit at or close to the highest of the slot defender market by this time subsequent week. At that value, it’s going to nearly absolutely be outdoors of Pittsburgh, however by no means say by no means.