Outside Cornerback No. 2
The post-draft buzz is around Cameron Dantzler, but the second starting job to start 2020 should belong to Holton Hill. With two years of experience under his belt, the Texas product has knowledge of the Mike Zimmer system and with the previously mentioned impact of COVID-19, it should benefit veterans over later-round rookies to start the season.
The good news with Hill is that when he’s been on the field, he’s been effective. Hill had a mini-breakout during the 2018 season with 12.7 coverage snaps per reception, which ranked 22nd among qualifying corners. Hill also was great in shutting down opposing receivers allowing a 67.0 passer rating that was ninth in the NFL and allowing 0.90 yards per coverage snap (24th).
Last season, Hill continued his solid play on the field despite giving up a 90.0 passer rating on nine targets. Even with a smaller sample size, Hill’s yards per snap went down to 0.62 and his snaps per reception went up to 16.2 which would have ranked seventh among qualifying cornerbacks.
Of course, the reason he didn’t qualify is why his status is unclear heading into this season. After being popped with double four-game suspensions, Hill is one slip-up away from being gone for 10 games and perhaps off of the Vikings roster. In fact, it was surprising he stayed on the roster last year as Zimmer kept him in his doghouse even as Xavier Rhodes struggled mightily later in the season.
The 2020 season will represent a new life for Hill, but Minnesota will need to see some maturity off of it to be a long-term fixture in the team’s plans.