Welcome to the 20/20 series. As part of our continued Dynasty Scouts coverage and in preparation for the NFL Combine, we will be profiling 20 of the top incoming rookies of the class of 2019 by giving you 20 facts you must know.
1.) Player name – Justice Hill
2.) College – Oklahoma State Cowboys
3.) Height/Weight – 5’10’’, 190 lbs
4.) Birthdate – 11/14/1997 (21 years old)
5.) Class – Junior
6.) Basic college stats – 2016 (freshman): 1,142 yards rushing, six touchdowns, five receptions, 46 yards receiving 2017 (sophomore): 1,467 yards rushing, 15 touchdowns, 31 receptions, 190 yards receiving, one touchdown 2018 (junior): 930 yards rushing, nine touchdowns, 13 receptions, 68 yards receiving.
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7.) NFL Draft round projection – While Hill produced well at Oklahoma State and demonstrates great agility, explosion, and athleticism, his lack of size might hold him back at the next level. Walter Football currently projects him to be picked on day two. I could see him being selected near the end of day two but would be much more comfortable projecting him at the beginning of day three.
8.) Current NFL comparison – I view Hill as some sort of combination of Theo Riddick and Giovani Bernard. Both of these players excel in space, which is where Hill will need to win in the NFL due to his smaller frame.
Riddick has elite elusiveness and patch-catching skills. Hill might not be on his level in either, but he has similar strengths. Bernard has more size and runs with more power but plays a similar role.
9.) Best possible destination – Good destinations for Justice Hill include teams with an open third-down receiving back role. Taking a look across the current NFL landscape, there really are not many of those available right now. Most teams already have an established pass-catching specialist or lead back who is a capable receiver. Not to mention, Le’Veon Bell, Tevin Coleman, and T.J. Yeldon are all free agent running backs who excel at catching the ball. These factors will likely make it difficult for Hill to become a significant contributor early on.
Some teams who might be a good fit include the Buccaneers, Jaguars, and Eagles. As you can tell, the list is very short.
10.) Worst possible destination – There are honestly a lot of places Hill could go where he would likely be buried on the depth chart for a while. I could easily see him landing in a situation like Mark Walton did last year. Most teams already have an established running back for the role Hill would likely try and fill.
11.) Best current skill – Hill’s quickness and agility really stood out when I watched him. His jump cuts are excellent and he does a great job accelerating upfield after making them.
12.) Skill that needs to be improved – The biggest knock on him is his lack of size, which prevents him from being able to fight through contact on many runs. While it might be hard for him to really improve his size, if he could somehow learn to “play bigger” it would help him tremendously.
13.) Past/current rookie ADP – According to DLF February ADP, Justice Hill is the 22nd-ranked rookie with an ADP of 24.00. He sits near players including Elijah Holyfield, Miles Sanders, Riley Ridley, Irv Smith, Parris Campbell, Trayveon Williams, and Greg Dortch. While I often advocate taking shots on running backs in this late second-round range of rookie drafts, there a few options I prefer over Hill in this spot. I would be more comfortable taking him in the third or fourth rounds unless he lands in a great situation. This likely means I will not be acquiring many shares of Justice Hill this off-season.
14.) Projected dynasty value – Mark Walton is another smaller-sized running back who was being selected in a similar range of rookie drafts this time last year. His overall ADP sat at 134 one year ago but sank down to 224.17 last month. This is one of the lower outcomes on the spectrum because Walton was buried behind two quality running backs and barely saw the field, but the 134 value is a good indication of where Hill might start off.
15.) Recruiting profile – According to 247Sports, Hill was a three-star recruit with a 0.8443 composite score. This put him as the 18th all-purpose back in his recruiting class. In addition to Oklahoma State, he also received offers from Houston, Kansas, and Louisville. He chose to stay close to home when he signed with the Cowboys.
16.) High school production – 2014 (junior): 1,426 yards rushing, 22 touchdowns, nine receptions, 129 yards receiving, two touchdowns. 2015 (senior): 1,858 yards rushing, 30 touchdowns, 12 receptions, 103 yards receiving.
17.) The man can squat – As a freshman, Hill squatted 565 pounds! This is very impressive, especially for someone his size.
— Gary Calcagno, M.A., MSCC, RSCC*E (@calcagnogary) July 18, 2017
18.) Productive from the get-go – One thing which stood out was how productive Hill was the moment he stepped on the field for Oklahoma State. He gained over 1,000 yards in each of his first two seasons and just missed doing so this past year, with a declining offense around him likely a contributing factor.
19.) 2016 FBS Freshman Rushing Leader – Hill led all freshmen in rushing yards back in 2016. He started off as a backup but quickly took over the lead role and never looked back.
20.) DLF Ranking – He is currently the 19th-ranked rookie according to our rankers. Dan Meylor is the highest at 11 and Jeff Haverlack is the lowest at 27 with a lot of variation in between.
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