Opening Chicago: Defensive Report

The Michigan Insider crew breaks down the top defensive performers from today's Nike Football Opening Regional Chicago held just outside the windy city.

ADDISON, Ill. -- Nike's annual combine held just outside of Chicago didn't disappoint today. It was loaded with talented players from across the country, with many of them having notable interest Michigan.

Below is a complete breakdown of the top defensive players involved in the all-day event with instant analysis from The Michigan Insider crew.

Josh's take: Detroit (Mich.) King 2016 CB LaVert Hill turned in another stellar camp performance today. He earned camp MVP in his position group, which resulted in an invite to The Opening this July. While Hill maintains he's still "100-percent" committed to Penn State, today's performance is why the Wolverines are in heavy pursuit of the four-star talent. His most notable play came when he took in a one handed interception at the back of the end zone in 1-on-1s, which was the best play of the day.

Sam's take: Fort Wayne (Ind.) 2016 DE Auston Robertson had to be one of the kid’s right at the cutoff point for receiving an invite to The Opening. Robertson was darn near impossible to stop, showing an impressive blend of speed, power and technique. He started out beating opposing linemen buy beating them around the corner. When the tackle contingent started gearing up with that he hit them with an array of moves that included a spin, a rip, or a club that sent linemen flailing. Only Onwenu presented a consistent challenge. The Hoosier State star is a technician and had an outstanding day.

Sam's take: This kid is tailor made for Michigan’s “Buck” position. Hindsdale South's (Ill.) Josh King is long, athletic, and may have been the fastest linemen off the edge at the camp. But flying off the edge is currently the extent of his pass rush skills. The Hinsdale South product is raw technically, so he had no effective counter once the offensive line group realized the speed rush was the only weapon in his arsenal. That’s nothing that a good coach and a good system that takes advantage of his versatility can’t take care of.

Sam's take: Local Evanston (Ill.) standout Naquan Jones’ get-off was impressive. He got by a few linemen as soon as the ball was snapped. And like Robertson, he hit his opponents with a pass rush arsenal that left a number of them befuddled. He showed great swim-move, ripped a few others, and powered his way through a few holds. He turned in a good day.

Sam's take: This youngster is massive, but he showed surprising quickness for his size. That trait clearly caught some of his opponents off guard as he nimbly got by. He too showed and rip and a swim move, but he’ll need to shed weight to be consistently effective for the Hawkeye state star.

Josh's take: Now enrolled at Ann Arbor (Mich.) Skyline, USC commit Daelin Hayes now stands at 6-foot-3.5, 250-pounds, and looks the part of a college inside linebacker. For his size he moved well, and looked good in open space. Physically he has always shown athleticism. Today was no exception.


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