Under general manager Jerry Reese, the New York Giants have made a habit of finding players under-valued or under-utilized by other teams -- or just plan tossed on the scrap heap altogether -- and getting good mileage out of them.
As we head toward the 2013 NFL Free Agency period beginning March 12 we will be bringing you looks at potential free-agent targets who could fit into areas of need for the Giants. I will hit some big names, but since the Giants' MO is usually the under-the-radar players and they don't have a lot of cap these will focus mostly on players likely won't be seeking huge free-agent contracts.
A few days ago I listed veteran safety George Wilson, recently released by the Buffalo Bills, as a possible Giants' target. Today, let's talk about a young player who fits the profile and happens to play a position of need for the Giants. Detroit Lions' defensive tackle Sammie Lee Hill.
Hill, 26, is a 6-foot-4, 331-pound defensive tackle who has been stuck behind a pair of first-round draft picks in Detroit. Walter Football lists him as one of the top defensive tackles available and says:
Sammie Lee Hill could start for some teams, as he does a decent job of pressuring the quarterback. He just hasn't had much of a chance in Detroit because he's been behind Ndamukong Suh, Nick Fairley and Corey Williams on the depth chart.
The Giants cut Chris Canty and have Rocky Bernard heading to free agency. Defensive tackle is a question mark right now as the only one on the roster the Giants can be certain of is Linval Joseph.
Sean Yuille of SB Nation's Lions' web site, Pride of Detroit, had this to say about Hill:
Hill was actually forced into starting as a rookie out of Stillman because the Lions were lacking both talent and depth at defensive tackle. A year later, he was reduced to simply being a rotational player after the Lions added Ndamukong Suh and Corey Williams. The Lions then added Nick Fairley the next season, but Hill remained a part of the rotation and even filled in as a starter for three games. He also started three games last season.
Hill has shown that he is a valuable depth player at defensive tackle. He can start if called upon and do an admirable job, and he can also be a solid rotational player. He's not going to wow you as a dominant player by any means, but he does a good job in the role of backup/occasional starter.
Hill started 12 games as a rookie, but only five since then. He has four career sacks. In limited duty in 2012 he had 15 tackles and no sacks. Pro Football Focus gave Hill a +5.6 overall grade for the 419 snaps he played in 2012, including +7.9 in pass-rush situations. He was credited with 17 pressures and two quarterback hits. He wa sgrade at -2.0 vs. the run.
Here are Hill's PFF grades from his first three seasons:
2011: Overall -- +4.2 (+3.0 vs. run, -0.2 vs. pass) ; 2010: Overall -- +10.2 (+2.9 vs. run, +5.3 vs. pass); 2009: -18.8 (-14.5 vs. run, -3.6 vs. pass).
Thoughts, Giants' fans? Is this the type of player who could help the Giants interior defense?