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Brandon Hill
NFL Draft

Brandon Hill NFL Draft 2023 Prospect Interview

  • Justin Melo
  • April 3, 2023
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Pittsburgh safety Brandon Hill departs the program for the 2023 NFL Draft as a two-year starter. On film, Hill showcases rare instincts and physicality that bold well for his next-level projection. Hill is also an excellent athlete that ran the 40 in 4.43 seconds and had a 10-foot-3 broad jump at the NFL Scouting Combine.

Hill recently spoke exclusively with The Draft Network about his instincts, range, versatility, and which teams have shown interest in his services throughout the pre-draft process.

JM: You depart the Pittsburgh Panthers as a two-year starting safety. You were extremely productive, but you had to bid your time behind some great players and teammates. What did that experience teach you?

Brandon Hill: You said it. I had to put my head down and wait my time. I came in as a young guy. Our room was full of veterans. Actually, I think I was the only freshman safety Pittsburgh signed in the 2019 recruiting class.

The room was full of veterans. We had fifth-year guys that had already been through what I just finished going through. They knew what steps to take. I leaned on them and they helped show me the ropes. They helped me understand the college lifestyle. They helped me adapt and adjust. They taught me time management skills. They helped me understand how to be a college football player. I had to go through that college transition. Thankfully, football is football at the end of the day.

I picked their brains. I’m talking about guys like Damar Hamlin and Dane Jackson. They were tremendous resources for me. They were my big brothers, and that remains the case today. It was an amazing experience.

JM: I love that you maintained those relationships. When we turn the tape on, we see an instinctive and physical defender with excellent range. Where do those abilities come from?

Brandon Hill: They come from God first and foremost. God blessed me with some natural abilities. I blend that with hard work. I show up ready to practice every single day. I’ve always had the work ethic and drive necessary to get better. I’ve been blessed to play this sport at the highest level. I keep my faith in God.

JM: You diagnose, trigger, and play downhill from deep alignments. How did you develop that aggressive mentality?

Brandon Hill: I’ve always played with a chip on my shoulder. I’m always willing to play aggressive and attack offensive players. I’m always looking to make a big play, a game-changing play. 

You have to be a little crazy to play on the defensive side of the ball (laughs). I love it. I’m always willing and ready to initiate contact. You have to be willing to stick your head in there. I have that defensive mindset. I’ve been playing defense my entire life. I have that dog in me. I play with an edge. I’m always going to do what I can to help the team win. I bring that spark and energy.

JM: You’re an asset as a run defender. It goes with what we’re talking about. You love to tackle. That’s not always true about safeties, but it’s true about you. What do you love about tackling?

Brandon Hill: It goes back to what I said about making game-changing plays. I love tackling. I love coming downhill and delivering a big hit. Once I get that big hit under my belt, I can feel the momentum shift over to the defensive side of the ball. My teammates feed off that energy. 

In Pittsburgh’s defense, we always had 11 hats flying to the football. I was one of 11. I always made sure I did my one of 11. I wanted to do my job at the highest level imaginable. I’m always trying to give our defense a spark.

JM: And you really shine when playing deep. I love your range. Do you see yourself as a fit for Cover 2 at the next level?

Brandon Hill: I really do. Having played in Pittsburgh’s defense, I was exposed to a lot of concepts, especially at the safety position. I definitely feel comfortable playing Cover 2. Those concepts give me an opportunity to show off my range. I was exposed to so much at Pittsburgh. There are so many different ways to play defense. Our scheme allowed me to highlight my athletic abilities. I would love to play more Cover 2 at the next level.

JM: You were outstanding at the NFL Scouting Combine. You ran the 40 in 4.43 seconds and had a 10-foot-3 broad jump. How would you grade your overall performance?

Brandon Hill: I would give it a 10 out of 10 (laughs). I planned to run well and that’s exactly what I did. I planned to showcase my explosiveness, and that’s exactly what I did through the broad jump. I accomplished what I set out to achieve. I thank God first and foremost.

I thank my trainers at Exos down in Phoenix, Arizona. They helped me get ready and sharpen up my fundamentals. We worked on the techniques. I got the details down pact. It clicked and came together beautifully for me. I’m glad the whole world was able to see what I bring to the table.

JM: You were excellent in Indianapolis. Have you completed any private workouts, Top 30 visits or virtual meetings lately?

Brandon Hill: I’ve been in constant contact with teams ever since the combine. I’ve had so many virtual meetings and interviews. I’ve met with teams like the 49ers, Jets, Giants, Cardinals, Buccaneers, Texans, Raiders, and Broncos lately.

They’ve all gone so well. I’m excited and blessed to have this opportunity. I can’t wait to see where it takes me.

JM: There’s so much interest in you and it’s easy to see why. We’ve really appreciated your time today. What kind of impact is Brandon Hill going to make at the next level?

Brandon Hill: I’m going to make a huge impact. I’m going to bring energy to the defensive backfield. I can’t wait to get into a secondary at the next level. I’m going to bring leadership. I always want to get better. I put my teammates before me. I’m going to be myself and continue trusting the work ethic that got me this far. I’m ready to have fun. I love the game. I love playing football. That’s been the case since I was a little kid.

I’m definitely going to bring that dog mentality. I’m going to compete at the highest level.

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Justin Melo