Comps – Low/Medium/High
Cam McDaniel (Low) – Daryl Richardson (Medium) – Kendall Hunter (High)
Despite having a productive career at Oklahoma State, Justice Hill’s traits don’t stand out in a loaded underclassman class. His speed is underwhelming, even though he’s on the smaller side as a prospect. His agility is underwhelming for a smaller guy, and he doesn’t have the movement skills that are needed to completely dodge oncoming tacklers. Even when he does avoid the first tackler, he can’t reset himself and make the second one miss. He has a peculiar running style, as he lacks the patience behind his blockers that is expected for his size. When the field gets small and he’s forced to work in small spaces he goes headfirst into the action, slamming into whatever is in his path. In space he changes to trying to make defenders miss, although he never works with much of a plan. Although a somewhat twitchy guy, he doesn’t have the explosiveness to make flash plays. His runs rarely break into the second level due to a lack of burst, and there’s no gas pedal once he gets into a race. Hill’s size might be the most deterring aspect of his game, as his frame will likely get brutalized at the professional level. He can’t be a feature back with his limited power and inability to push the pile. Lacking in contact balance, he struggles to stay up through hits, or even fall forward through them. The mentality is there to be a finisher on his runs, but as much as the mind is willing, the body is not. Hill will likely have to make his money in the pass game if he wants to be a key piece of a roster, but it’s unlikely that he can crack into that role early on in his career. There’s no suggestion he can get free working anywhere other than the backfield, and the run after the catch ability is unimpressive.
Ability to Create Yardage
Lateral agility isn’t enough to completely avoid contact on most snaps. Usually gets caught even if he makes the first man miss; doesn’t have the ability to string cuts together. Takes multiple steps to make a hard cut rather than just planting and firing off. Has a variety of moves at his disposal; comfortable with spins, stutter-steps, and the occasional stiff arm. Surprisingly quick feet can allow for tempo changes in his run. Not necessarily stiff in the hips, but not particularly loose either. No dynamic qualities that will call for him touching the ball in a committee role. Attempts to reverse field when he runs in trouble, which digs his grave even deeper. Too predictable; telegraphs some of his moves and reveals them to would-be tacklers. Limited elusiveness makes it tough to win one-on-ones.
Doesn’t seem to have stop/start juice that can catch defenders off guard. Not an angle eraser. Lacks the acceleration out of the backfield to escape athletic linebackers. Has trouble turning the corner and getting into a foot race. Won’t rip off long runs frequently; no second gear he can kick into once he gets into the linebacker’s level. Struggles to make even small adjustments without losing some of his speed. Physical qualities aren’t likely to earn him a job on special teams. Tries to become a jitterbug before every tackle attempt, which kills his momentum. Lack of home-run hitting potential makes even a change of pace role questionable. Short strides prevent him from covering much ground in open field situations.
May not be able to endure much damage at the next level. Gets taken out by ankle biters in the open field. Unlikely to work in between the tackles at the next level. Goes down on first contact on the majority of plays; lacks the balance to keep runs rolling forward. Limited leg drive and pile pushing. Braces for contact even though he can’t survive straight on hits. Momentum is halted instantly when he hits a defender. Unable to get through hits even if he minimizes the surface area the tackler can get him at. Gets overwhelmed in traffic. Has room to bulk up for the wear and tear of the pro game, but may lose some of his twitch in doing so. Too easy to tangle up. Lowers the shoulder into opponents rather than stepping out of bounds. Slender frame is not conducive to playing the position; not built to absorb hits long term.
Path of least resistance runner who gives himself as much open room as possible to work. Quick recalculator who can adjust his path on a moment’s notice. Good reactive adjustments; won’t get caught off guard with defenders arriving on his doorstep. Needs to implement more of a downhill approach to his style rather than trying to outwork defenders side-to-side. Doesn’t have much of a plan beyond what’s directly ahead of him; runs himself out of big play opportunities. Got a lot of wide open running lanes that won’t be available next year. Won’t wait around at the line of scrimmage waiting for openings to materialize. Instantaneous with his decision-making, although he tends to break away from his choices in search of backup plans. Bull in a china shop approach to tight spaces has its drawbacks; lacks patience.
Pass Blocking & Receiving
Comfortable catching passes out of the backfield; works into space without any awkwardness. Will get beaten up by blitzers in pass protection due to size. Route-running is not developed, and he should not be trusted to earn separation from the slot. Lacks immediacy in his route breaks. Has chances to chip edge rushers on his way out into the flat, but doesn’t do it frequent enough. Hands catching is acceptable. Almost no examples of squaring up with defenders and trying to use his hands as a blocker; used his shoulder on the few reps where he got in the mix. Not agile or strong enough to make plays after the catch. Awareness must improve in pass protection. Willing to put his body in the line of fire and take on a free rusher.