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Can Giants’ DT B.J. Hill recapture success he had during rookie season?

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Hill’s role diminished significantly in 2019

New York Giants v Washington Redskins
B.J. Hill sacking Case Keenum last season.
Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images

Will B.J. Hill be the impact player he was in 2018 or the afterthought he became in 2019 in the New York Giants’ Patrick Graham-led 2020 defense?

Let’s take a closer look.

The basics

Height: 6-foot-3
Weight: 311
Age: 25
Position: Defensive line
Experience: 2
Contract: Year 3 of four year, $4.047 million rookie contract

How he got here

The Giants drafted Hill in the third round (69th overall) out of N.C. State in 2018. Hill was a run-stuffing nose tackle for the Wolfpack, but has generally played more three- or five-technique for the Giants.

Hill surprised as a rookie. After getting just 8.0 sacks in 48 games for N.C. State, he compiled 5.5 sacks, 7 hurries and 1 knockdown in 2018. In 2019, he had only 1 sack and 5 total pressures. His playing time decreased from 642 snaps as a rookie to 487 snaps in 2019.

2020 outlook

This sort of goes along with the question I asked at the beginning of this post, but right now it is impossible to know if Hill will be a key member of a young, developing defense or the fourth wheel on a Can Am.

Intermot 2016 Motorcycles And Scooters Trade Fair Photo by Marc Pfitzenreuter/Getty Images

Leonard Williams’ arrival made Hill the fourth member of the Giants’ three-man defensive line last season. That was made even worse for him by the fact that the Giants often played with only two of Hill, Williams, Dalvin Tomlinson and Dexter Lawrence on the field.

Hill played 38 or more snaps in five of the Giants’ first six games last season. He played 30 or more snaps only three times in the final 10 games. The final two games of the season, 17 snaps vs. Washington and only 13 snaps vs. the Eagles, were Hill’s lowest of the season in terms of playing time.

Hill’s playing time this season could also be threatened by the signing of veteran defensive lineman Austin Johnson. Without having seen any spring work we have no way of knowing how Hill fits into Patrick Graham’s defense.

Hill, like several other members of the 2018 draft class, flashed potential as a rookie that he did not build on last season. We should know much more about the kind of player he will be after the 2020 season.