Every year it seems as though the New York Giants draft a player who takes us just a bit off guard.
This year it was when they drafted B.J. Hill, the defensive tackle out of NC State, with the 69th overall selection, their second pick in the third round and fourth pick in the draft.
This isn’t to say that I was unfamiliar with Hill — after studying both Bradley Chubb and Kentavius Street, he’s been on my radar. But with Damon Harrison, Dalvin Tomlinson, Robert Thomas, Kerry Wynn, Romeo Okwara, Kareem Martin, and Josh Mauro all on the roster, I thought they might look elsewhere.
But we weren’t the only ones taken by surprise. Around draft media, the pick of Hill was something of a surprise and a head-scratcher.
With Hill now a New York Giant, it’s high time we took a closer look and gave him a proper scouting report.
- Good frame for a defensive tackle. Enough length and doesn’t have much “bad” extra weight.
- Surprsingly athletic. Sub-5 second 40 yard dash with good quickness and agility, as well as plenty of strength.
- Very good first step. Almost always one of the first, if not the first, linemen moving.
- Has very active hands. Uses a variety of moves, including a bull rush, rip, arm-over (swim), and spin moves.
- Gets his hands in the air to clog passing lanes.
- Very high-revving motor. Hill is dogged in pursuit of the play.
- Need to get better at finishing plays.
- Might benefit from leaning out slightly.
- Generally plays with good pad level, but
- Consistent producer, but never truly dominant.
What They’re Saying
Analysis: Hill was solid all week -- he wasn’t great and didn’t make many flash plays, rather he held his own and showed himself to be a stout, athletic DT. I was impressed the way he used his hands and the strength he showed in his upper body. Hill needs to finish his game but has starting potential at the next level.
Does He Fit The Giants?
When the Giants announced the selection of Hill, Mike Mayock said that his comparison for him was Linval Joseph, the Giants’ second round pick in 2010 — a comparison that Daniel Jeremiah agreed with.
In his scouting report for NFL.com, Lance Zierlein compared Hill to Marvin Austin, the Giants’ second round pick in 2011.
As Mayock and Jeremiah agreed after making the comparison: The Giants have a “type” when it comes to defensive tackles.
That type? Big, powerful, and with surprising movement skills. The Giants have consistently drafted tackles of that “type” on the second day of the draft in Joseph, Austin, Johnathan Hankins, and Dalvin Tomlinson, and with the exception of Austin (who’s career was derailed by injury), they have consistently hit on those picks.
Hill does appear to be another in that line of DTs. He has the the power and leverage to play the 1-tech or a true nose tackle, as well as athleticism to play the 5, 3, or 2i techniques. In fact, his athleticism might even be more intriguing than his size and power. Compare Hill’s athletic profile (above) to that of Fletcher Cox:
While combine testing isn’t exactly predictive, the similarity in the profiles are intriguing to say the least.
Hill is at his best when allowed to attack the offense, playing 1-gap defense and getting upfield. Even among a talented, aggressive, and athletic NC State line, Hill’s first step stands out. He is frequently one of the first players moving off the snap. When asked to eat blockers, Hill has the strength to stand up double-teams, but can get pushed around if he lets his pad level rise.
Physical abilities aside, he is utterly relentless in pursuit and never gives up on a play, which coaches and teammates alike are sure to appreciate.
Whether Hill is as good a pick as Joseph, Hankins, or Tomlinson remains to be seen, but he is coming from a successful philosophy. For now he should help reinforce a front seven that will have to contend with talented offensive fronts in the NFC East.