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Free agent profile: Cornerback Mike Hilton

The Denver Broncos will be looking long and hard at adding a veteran cornerback in free agency. Would Mike Hilton fit the bill?

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NFL: Pittsburgh Steelers at Buffalo Bills Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

Forget quarterbacks, let’s keep the cornerback talk going. The Denver Broncos have a very young core at this position group and the best way, in my mind, to get better overall is to add a proven veteran to the mix heading into this season. A guy like Pittsburgh Steelers cornerback Mike Hilton actually fits the mold better than most free agent cornerbacks out there.

Player Profile

Height: 5-9
Weight: 184 pounds
Age: 27 years old
Experience: 5 seasons

Why it makes sense

As an undrafted free agent in 2016, Hilton has become an all around quality player inside the slot. He has graded out above average to good via Pro Football Focus in every season he has started for the Steelers piling up seven interceptions and 32 passes defensed in four seasons. He’s also used a lot on corner blitzes with 23 total quarterback hits and 9.5 sacks over that span.

He is a good player, but the big question is whether or not bringing him in would push Bryce Callahan outside and whether or not that is a good idea to improve the secondary.

Why it doesn’t make sense

Hilton may not be as good covering outside. Hilton played well in the slot and with Bryce Callahan playing well last season, the Broncos may be better off looking at more traditional outside cornerbacks.

“Hilton epitomizes the do-it-all slot corner who can cover in both man and zone, play the run and blitz effectively,” the PFF wrote last month. “The Steelers’ scheme allows him to show off all of those skills, and he’s quietly been one of the most valuable corners in the league since 2017.”

Final Thoughts

I’m on the fence with Hilton. It really all depends on whether or not Vic Fangio thinks Bryce Callahan can play good football outside. If so, then I think Hilton is a great slot corner type guy that could come in and play well for Denver.


Should the Broncos target Mike Hilton in free agency?

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