B.J. Hill did himself a few favors leading up to the draft but is there enough to his game that would showcase a future NFL starter?
School: N.C. State
Weight: 315 lbs
- Does a good job of getting his arms extended on each snap, working not to let the blockers into his body so as to lose control.
- Strong lower body. He’s routinely able to hold his ground against the run, even when double teamed. He maintains balance and proper pad level.
- Has shown he can deliver a sharp bull rush, frequently knocking guards and centers almost into the lap of the quarterback.
This illustrates what Hill could be. He gets a good burst off the snap, keeping his pad level low and delivers a jarring punch to the guard. Then he keeps his legs churning in a bull rush that almost certainly would’ve driven the blocker right into the quarterback. His problem isn’t that he can’t do this. It’s that he can’t do it consistently.
- Decent athleticism and lateral agility. Showed a number of times he can chase ball carriers down the line of scrimmage.
- Shows good awareness of where the football is and where’s it’s likely going, allowing him to be around the play more often than not.
- His burst off the snap and explosion is lacking. He gets a decent initial surge but quickly loses steam, allowing pass protectors to keep him blocked.
- Despite getting good extension with his arms, his hand fighting isn’t effective enough. He struggles to disengage from blocks at times.
- He has a bad habit of stopping his feet when trying to rush the passer. This is most often what kills his momentum.
- Though he can hold his ground against the run, he’s vulnerable to blockers with good technique who’ve shown they can turn him out of the hole.
- Seems to lack a feel for shooting gaps and doesn’t quite have the quickness for it. Maybe slimming down might help but that’s unknown.
Pro Comparison: Terrell McClain
McClain has spent most of his career as an NFL journeyman but it’s been a long career because he has a certain usefulness. He’s never been a great interior pass rusher but he finds the football a lot and is reliable against the run. This sounds like the sort of role Hill is destined to play. He may not be on one team for long but he’ll always have work as a primary rotational reserve.
Projection: 5th round
Hill had a decent showing at the Senior Bowl and did some nice things at the combine. That will be enough to get him drafted prior to the late rounds. Still, his general lack of dynamic playmaking skill means teams will wait on looking at him until the middle rounds. He’ll be brought in as a depth option. At that point it becomes his job to prove he can be a starter.