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Mike Hilton
No. 28 – Pittsburgh Steelers
Position:Cornerback
Personal information
Born: (1994-03-09) March 9, 1994 (age 26)
Fayetteville, Georgia
Height:5 ft 9 in (1.75 m)
Weight:184 lb (83 kg)
Career information
High school:Sandy Creek (Tyrone, Georgia)
College:Ole Miss
Undrafted:2016
Career history
* Jacksonville Jaguars ( 2016)*
 * Offseason and/or practice squad member only
Roster status:Active
Career NFL statistics as of 2018
Total tackles:121
Sacks:5.0
Forced fumbles:1
Pass deflections:14
Interceptions:3
Player stats at NFL.com

Michael Hilton (born March 9, 1994) is an American football cornerback for the Pittsburgh Steelers of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football at University of Mississippi and signed with the Jacksonville Jaguars as an undrafted free agent in 2016. Hilton has also been a member of the New England Patriots.

College careerEdit

2012Edit

Hilton began attending the University of Mississippi in 2012. He made his collegiate debut in Week 2 after sitting out the Rebel's season-opening 49–27 victory over Central Arkansas. He earned his first career tackle and finished with two as Ole Miss loss to Texas. On October 6, 2012, Hilton made his first career start as the Rebels' dimeback, finishing with three solo tackles, a forced fumble, and made his first two career sacks on Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel. The Rebels lost to Texas A&M 27–30. In Week 8, he recorded a season-high six combined tackles and had the first two pass deflections of his career, helping the Rebels defeat Arkansas 30–27.[1] He played in 12 games and started four as a freshman finishing with 33 combined tackles, 3.5 tackles for a loss, two sacks, two pass deflections, and two forced fumbles.[2]

2013Edit

Hilton started the Ole Miss Rebels' season-opener against Vanderbilt at their "Huskie" position (hybrid strong safety). He finished the 39–35 victory with five total and two tackles for a loss. On October 5, 2013, he collected a season-high eight combined tackles during a 22–30 loss to the Auburn. On November 16, 2013, Hilton made four combined tackles and his first career interception, as the Rebels defeated Troy 51–21. He finished the season with 52 combined tackles (37 solo), 5.5 tackles for a loss, four pass deflections, a sack, and a forced fumble in 11 games and 11 starts.[3]

2014Edit

In the Ole Miss Rebels' season-opening 35–13 victory over Boise State, Hilton recorded a season-high nine combined tackles. On September 13, 2014, he collected four combined tackles, deflected a pass, and made his first interception of the season in a 56–15 victory over Louisiana-Lafayette. On October 25, 2014, he accumulated eight combined tackles and made his third interception of the season in a 7–10 loss to #24 LSU. Hilton finished his junior season with career-high 71 combined tackles (48 solo), four tackles for a loss, three interceptions, and seven pass deflections in 13 starts and 13 games.[4] He led the team with 71 tackles and started 11 games at cornerback and two games as rover.[2]

2015Edit

Hilton was given #38 in 2015. This number is only given to a select player who embodies the spirit of former defensive back Chucky Mullins, who became paralyzed in 1989 after making a tackle head first and shattered four vertebrae in his cervical spine.[5]

In a 73–22 victory over Fresno State in Week 2, Hilton collected six combined tackle, a tackle for a loss, a half a sack, and a forced fumble while starting at rover. On October 10, 2015, he recorded four combined tackles, three tackles for a loss, a pass deflection, and his first interception of the season in a 52–3 victory over New Mexico State. The following week, the Rebels were defeated by Memphis with Hilton making a career-high 11 combined tackles, 2.5 tackles for a loss, one sack, a pass deflection, and an interception. He finished his senior season with 70 combined tackles (49 solo), 12.5 tackles for a loss, 11 pass deflections, 1.5 sacks, and two interceptions in 11 starts and 13 games.[6]

Hilton finished his Ole Miss career with 226 combined tackles (156 solo), 25.5 tackles for a loss, 24 pass deflections, six interceptions, four forced fumbles, and 3.5 sacks in 49 games and 39 starts.

Professional careerEdit

Coming out of Ole Miss, Hilton was projected to go undrafted and be a priority free agent by the majority of NFL draft experts and scouts. He didn't receive an invitation to the NFL Combine and attended Ole Miss' pro day on March 28, 2016. Team representatives and scouts from all 32 NFL teams were present at Ole Miss' pro day to scout one of the most talented groups in school history, that included Hilton, Laquon Treadwell, Laremy Tunsil, Robert Nkemdiche, Cody Core, Chad Kelly, Evan Engram, Fahn Cooper and ten other prospects.[7] He was ranked as the 27th best free safety prospect in the draft by NFLDraftScout.com. Hilton received positive reviews from scouts for his versatile ability to play multiple positions in college, decent coverage skills, gritty tackling ability, reaction quickness, and ability to track balls well downfield. NFL scouts thought his ability to produce a professional career was greatly hindered by his lack of size.[8]

Pre-draft measureables
Ht Wt 40-yd dash 10-yd split 20-yd split 20-ss 3-cone Vert Broad BP
5 ft 9 in 184 lb 4.55 s 1.59 s 2.67 s 4.18 s 6.86 s 33½ in 9 ft 9 in 13 reps

Jacksonville JaguarsEdit

2016Edit

On May 1, 2016, the Jacksonville Jaguars signed Hilton as an undrafted free agent.[9]

Hilton competed with Aaron Colvin, Dwayne Gratz, Peyton Thompson, Josh Johnson, Demetrius McCray, Briean Boddy-Calhoun, and Nick Marshall throughout his first training camp for a job as a backup cornerback.[10] On August 29, 2016, the Jacksonville Jaguars released Hilton as a part of their final roster cuts.[11]

New England PatriotsEdit

On September 6, 2016, Hilton was signed to the Patriots' practice squad.[12] He was released by the Patriots on September 14, 2016.[13]

Pittsburgh SteelersEdit

On December 13, 2016, Hilton was signed to the Steelers' practice squad.[14] Hilton spent the remainder of his rookie season on the Steelers' practice squad and didn't appear in any game in 2016. He signed a reserve/future contract with the Steelers on January 24, 2017.[15] He reunited with his former teammate Senquez Golson whom he played with and backed up at Ole Miss.

2017Edit

Hilton entered training camp competing with William Gay and Senquez Golson for the job as the starting nickelback. Hilton was named the starting nickelback to begin the regular season.[16]

30px External video
16px Mike Hilton records a speedy third sack of the game
16px Hilton plucks tipped pass with one handed interception

He made his regular season debut during the Steelers' 21–18 season-opening victory over the Cleveland Browns and finished the game with two combined tackles. The following week, he earned his first career start and collected a season-high nine combined tackles during a 26–9 victory over the Minnesota Vikings. On October 1, 2017, Hilton made four solo tackles, earned his first career sack, and made his first career interception off of Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco during the Steelers' 26–9 victory.[17] On December 25, 2017, Hilton recorded six solo tackles and three sacks on Houston Texans' quarterbacks T. J. Yates and Taylor Heinicke during the Steelers' 34–6 victory, earning him AFC Defensive Player of the Week.[18][19] Hilton finished the 2017 NFL season with 64 combined tackles (48 solo), six pass deflections, four sacks, and two interceptions in 16 games and four starts.[20] Hilton received an overall of 83.6 from Pro Football Focus, which ranked as the 28th best grade among all cornerbacks in 2017.[21]

2018Edit

30px External video
16px Mike Hilton recovers ball after Carr’s pass slips

Hilton changed his jersey number from No. 31 to No. 28 after it became available when Sean Davis and Joe Haden also changed numbers.[22] Head coach Mike Tomlin retained Hilton as the primary nickelback to begin the regular season and also named him the fifth backup cornerback, behind Joe Haden, Artie Burns, Coty Sensabaugh, and Cameron Sutton.[23] On September 24, 2018, Hilton made five combined tackles, a pass deflection, and made an interception during a 30-27 win at the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Hilton sustained an elbow injury during the game and was subsequently inactive for the Steelers’ Week 4 loss against the Baltimore Ravens.[24] In Week 14, he collected a season-high eight combined tackles during a 24-21 loss at the Oakland Raiders. He finished the season with 57 combined tackles (44 solo), eight pass deflections, one sack, and one interception in 15 games and two starts.[20] He received an overall grade of 69.9 from Pro Football Focus, which ranked as the 43rd best grade among cornerbacks in 2018.[25]

ReferencesEdit

  1. "Sports-Reference: Mike Hilton stats".
  2. 2.0 2.1 "Ole Miss Sports: Mike Hilton Player Bio".
  3. "Sports-Reference: Mike Hilton stats".
  4. "Sports-Reference: Mike Hilton stats: 2014".
  5. "How the Steelers discovered Mike Hilton".
  6. "Sports-Reference: Mike Hilton stats 2015".
  7. "NFL eyes turn to Ole Miss' Pro Day". March 27, 2016.
  8. "NFL Draft Profile: Mike Hilton".
  9. "Jaguars agree to terms with nine undrafted rookie free agents". May 1, 2016. https://web.archive.org/web/20170813013120/http://www.jaguars.com/news/article-JaguarsNews/Jaguars-agree-to-terms-with-nine-undrafted-rookie-free-agents/4a645a28-b29a-4d57-875e-a96e7a860c91. Retrieved January 23, 2017.
  10. "Ourlads.com: Jacksonville Jaguars depth chart".
  11. Oehser, John (August 29, 2016). "CB Demetrius McCray among eight players waived". https://web.archive.org/web/20170809171559/http://www.jaguars.com/news/article-JaguarsNews/CB-Demetrius-McCray-among-eight-players-waived/0c9d6aab-26b7-43e5-b801-6928129601be. Retrieved January 23, 2017.
  12. "Patriots sign two to the practice squad". September 6, 2016. https://www.patriots.com/news/patriots-sign-two-to-the-practice-squad-269761. Retrieved January 23, 2017.
  13. "Patriots release DB Mike Hilton from the practice squad". September 14, 2016. https://www.patriots.com/news/patriots-release-db-mike-hilton-from-the-practice-squad-270781. Retrieved January 23, 2017.
  14. Bryan, Dave (December 13, 2016). "Steelers Sign Hilton, Riddick To Practice Squad". http://www.steelersdepot.com/2016/12/steelers-sign-hilton-riddick-practice-squad/. Retrieved January 23, 2017.
  15. "11 players signed to Reserve/Future contracts". January 24, 2017. https://web.archive.org/web/20170912004234/http://www.steelers.com/news/transactions/article-1/11-players-signed-to-ReserveFuture-contracts/a171abb2-df36-4b4e-a52c-370eaec85887.
  16. "Ourlads.com: Pittsburgh Steeler's depth chart: 09/01/2017".
  17. "NFL Player Profile: Mike Hilton".
  18. "NFL Player stats: Mike Hilton (2017)". http://www.nfl.com/player/mikehilton/2556559/gamelogs. Retrieved December 25, 2017.
  19. Maya, Adam (December 27, 2017). "Todd Gurley, Dion Lewis among NFL Players of Week". http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap3000000899031/article/todd-gurley-dion-lewis-among-nfl-players-of-week.
  20. 20.0 20.1 "NFL Player stats: Mike Hilton (career)". http://www.nfl.com/player/mikehilton/2556559/careerstats.
  21. "The top eight slot cornerbacks for 2018". June 1, 2018. https://www.profootballfocus.com/news/pro-the-top-eight-slot-cornerbacks-for-2018.
  22. "Mike Hilton officially changes jersey number for 2018 season". https://247sports.com/nfl/pittsburgh-steelers/Bolt/Pittsburgh-Steelers-Mike-Hilton-officially-changes-jersey-number-117271248/.
  23. "Steelers vs. Browns: Pittsburgh Steelers Week 1 gameday depth chart prediction". September 3, 2018. https://steelerswire.usatoday.com/2018/09/03/steelers-vs-browns-pittsburgh-steelers-week-1-gameday-depth-chart-prediction/9/.
  24. "Injury Rundown: Mike Hilton (elbow) continues to be evaluated". September 25, 2018. https://247sports.com/nfl/pittsburgh-steelers/Article/Pittsburgh-Steelers-Mike-Hilton-injury-122486900/.
  25. "Pro Football Focus: Mike Hilton". https://www.profootballfocus.com/nfl/players/mike-hilton/10898.

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