Around the NFL predicts the Niners will sign Hilton, who primarily played in the slot with Pittsburgh
Around The NFL’s Nick Shook went through each team in the NFL and picked a “fun free agency fit.” Earlier in the week, we discussed the possibility of Emmanuel Moseley replacing K’Waun Williams in the slot if Williams were to land elsewhere in free agency. That would be a cost-effective move for the Niners as they wouldn’t have to spend any money, and they know what they’re getting in Moseley.
Shook has Williams headed to the east coast, but K’Waun isn’t reuniting with Robert Saleh in this hypothetical. Williams lands with the Eagles. Shook as the 49ers filling Williams’s spot with 26-year-old Mike Hilton of the Steelers:
The 49ers are going to say goodbye to Richard Sherman and likely Jason Verrett, and they also need to get younger at the position. A favorite of mine for the last couple of seasons because of his flair for being in the right place at the right time, Hilton would be an excellent fit in the 49ers’ defense. With around $12.5 million in cap space, San Francisco has the funds to make this happen and shore up its secondary in the process.
Hilton played 346 of his 508 snaps in the slot this past season, per Pro Football Focus. Hilton also lined up at free safety, cornerback, and at other positions in the box.
Hilton allowed a 51% completion percentage with an average of 5.8 yards per target on 31 targets. He notched three pass breakups and three interceptions as well. Hilton’s five tackles for loss as impressive as is his three sacks and four QB hits.
If there is a K’Waun replacement in free agency, Hilton would be the closest comparison, as Pittsburgh has blitzed him at least 53 times during the past four seasons. Over The Cap’s valuation for Hilton’s 2020 season comes in at just under $3.6 million annually, which means San Francisco could fit Hilton into their budget.