Heading into the 2020 season, there were some who thought that Minnesota cornerback Holton Hill could be set to take a major step forward in his third NFL season. As a matter of fact, Anthony Treash of Pro Football Focus tabbed Hill as a potential breakout player in 2020.
“In his two years on the field,” Treash said, “Hill has produced a 73.0 coverage grade on just over 300 coverage snaps. He’s allowed under a yard per cover snap in that span, which is impressive for a former (undrafted free agent). Some of his best work has come in tight coverage, where he brings physicality and allowed just two of 16 targets to be caught while forcing eight incompletions. Minnesota needs multiple of the young corners on its roster to step up in 2020, and Hill looks like he can fulfill that.”
To say that hasn’t quite come to pass is rather and understatement. In two games, Hill has allowed 75 percent of the passes thrown in his direction to be completed for 151 yards and a score. His passer rating against is north of 120.
Of course, there’s a silver lining to Hill’s struggles in coverage — he has made 14 tackles so far this season, adding a sack and a pass defensed. Through two weeks, the youngster ranks eighth among cornerbacks in Fantasy Sharks Default IDP Scoring.
With Minnesota all kinds of banged up at corner, the team has no choice but to roll Hill out there full-time Sunday against Tennessee. That should mean plenty of targets for Hill, which equates to tackle opportunities …
And an appearance in “Cornering the Market” for a second consecutive week.
Shaq Griffin, Seattle (at Dallas)
Back in the 2018 playoffs, Dallas’ Dak Prescott went after a nicked-up Griffin early and often in a Wild Card win for Dallas — Griffin was targeted 13 times, allowing eight catches for over 100 yards and a score. As Bob Condotta wrote for the Seattle Times, the 25-year-old Griffin hasn’t forgotten that roasting even a little.
“I had a bad taste in my mouth,” Griffin said. “No one wants to leave the season after a game like that. I saw a lot of plays that I’m expecting to see coming back from 2018. So, I’m excited to face them again. I was dealing with a couple of injuries then. But I’ll definitely be ready now. So, I’m excited about that.”
The Seattle secondary has gotten lit up like a Christmas tree in 2020 — allowing a staggering 415.5 passing yards per game. Dallas is third in the NFL in passing, tallying 344.5 yards per game through the air. In a game that has the makings of Week 3’s highest-scoring affair, both Griffin and Quinton Dunbar should be busy.
Jaylon Johnson, Chicago (at Atlanta)
It’s quite the trial by fire for Jaylon Johnson, who went from second-round pick this year to a Week 1 starter — without the benefit of a full offseason to get ready for the biggest jump in competition of his career. Now, the 21-year-old is getting ready to square off against one of the best passing games in the NFL in Atlanta — and the youngster is looking forward to it.
“Just being able to match up against arguably one of the best receivers of this generation (in Julio Jones),” Johnson said, via Nathan Smith of the team’s website. “I mean, being able to line up against him, and then Calvin Ridley is an upcoming star as well. Just being able to match up against this high-quality talent is just big for me in being able to get my name out there, to be able to make plays against those guys.”
Jones in uncertain to play Sunday with a hamstring injury, but even if he sits Atlanta’s second-ranked passing attack should pose a stiff test for the Chicago defense. Through two games this season, Atlanta is sixth in fantasy points allowed to defensive backs, and Johnson has been targeted 6.5 times per game. Johnson’s a prime “rookie corner rule” candidate in Week 3.