No corner stuffs the run like Mike Hilton. And that’s not just me saying it. The numbers back that up. Hilton notched another TFL last Sunday against Seattle and had another that while didn’t get logged as a tackle, created a forced fumble Devin Bush recovered and got the Pittsburgh Steelers back into the game.
Here’s the TFL he officially logged, a two yard stop to set up 2nd and 12.
Mike Hilton makes you feel comfortable playing in nickel against 12 personnel. Best run stopping slot corner in football. 17 TFL since 2017 T-2nd most in NFL by a DB. #Steelers pic.twitter.com/xfdVFbMaWi
— Alex Kozora (@Alex_Kozora) September 18, 2019
Like I noted in the tweet, the Steelers are in their 2-4-5 nickel against 12 personnel. For a lot of teams, that’s a mismatch to stop the run game. With a player like Hilton, a corner with a linebacker’s mentality, you can go sub-package and not lose a lot.
At this point, it’s not a surprise to see Hilton continue this success. Since cracking the lineup in 2017, he’s been at the top of the league.
Of all defensive backs, here are the top five in tackles for loss since 2017.
1. Jamal Adams – 19 TFL
2. Mike Hilton – 17 TFL
3. Harrison Smith – 17 TFL
4. Jordan Poyer – 14 TFL
5. Tony Jefferson – 13 TFL
Hilton is tied second in the league with two of the top safeties in football in Adams and Smith. Two guys who, by the way, play a lot more than a slot corner like Hilton. He’s also the only cornerback on the list. So let’s break it down further and check out CBs with at least 10 TFLs since ’17.
1. Mike Hilton – 17 TFL
2. Desmond King – 11 TFL
That’s it. Hilton and King. And Hilton is head and shoulders above the rest.
Sure, there are questions about him in coverage, though he’s made big plays there too some may have forgotten about too quickly. But against the run, and that slot position is so critical in being physical, stopping the run, and acting as that extra linebacker, Hilton is top notch. There’s no debate about that.