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Is Justice Hill A Luxury Pick Or A Needed Investment In The Future For The Redskins At RB?

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Hogs Haven takes a look at 2019 NFL Draft prospects that could contribute to the Redskins

Oklahoma v Oklahoma State Photo by Brett Deering/Getty Images

Justice Hill, RB
School: Oklahoma State | Conference: BIG 12
College Experience: Junior | Age: 21
Height / Weight: 5-9 / 198 lbs
Projected Draft Status: 4th or 5th Round
NFL Comparison: Ito Smith

College Statistics

Player Overview

Justice Hill was a 3-star recruit from Tulsa, Oklahoma. He committed to Oklahoma State shortly after coach Mike Gundy offered him a scholarship in 2015. Hill is known for his breakaway speed and and dangerous one cut ability. He got to work immediately in Oklahoma State’s prolific offense. Hill passed the freshman rushing record in a single season with 1,142 yard on the ground. He set even higher marks his sophomore season where he led the BIG 12 in rushing yards, rushing attempts, and rushing touchdowns. He received first team All-BIG 12 and first team Academic All-BG 12 honors that year. This past season Hill was on pace to meet and even exceed some of those numbers until nagging rib injuries. He is one of the smallest running backs in the draft but he is explosive and has that big play ability. Hill showed off his athletic skills at the combine before a hamstring ended his participation early. He ought to have the attention of teams looking to add an explosive element to their backfield who can be used in a variety of ways.

Strengths

  • Excellent speed, quickness, and agility for position.
  • Versatile back who took carries out of the shotgun, caught passes out of the backfield, lined up in the slot, and was kept in for pass protection. Hands look natural.
  • One cut runner who uses his vision and feel for space to plant his foot and go full speed ahead. Explosive player capable of big runs and has the speed to take the ball to the house. In the open field he is hard to catch and has good agility to avoid defenders.
  • Capable of handling significant workloads and big production. A consistent player. You give him 20 carries he gives you 100 yards.
  • Reliable ball carrier with 0 fumbles this year.

Weaknesses

  • Small for the position and primarily worked out of the shotgun with zone blocking schemes in college. Can he hold up in aligned behind the QB and in other blocking schemes where he will encounter more contact?
  • Lacks size strength and grit to last in pass protection which could limit his opportunities in the NFL if he doesn’t get better.
  • Doesn’t have the power behind his runs to consistently break tackles on maintain contact balance.

Let’s see his work:

More Justice Hill Videos

How Would He Fit On The Redskins?

This is my first running back profile since the Redskins re-signed Adrian Peterson to a two-year deal and I’m here to tell you that yes, the Redskins still should add a RB to the roster. Guice and Peterson are locked into starting roles with Chris Thompson working 3rd down duties. Perine’s fate is still up in limbo and Byron Marshall was tendered and will be back with the team this upcoming season as it stands currently. There is plenty of refactoring that could be done with the bottom pieces at the position. Perine and Marshall’s spots are up for grabs and there is no reason to think one of these rookies, especially an explosive player like Hill could not come in and take their place. Hill could see the field immediately in the RB rotation even if its only for a couple snaps a game. He only needs one carry to break one. Hill has much higher upside than both Perine and Marshall and it’s assumed he won’t be put in the dog house for fumbling issues since he does a good job of taking care of the ball. Hopefully with dedication and hard work Hill can improve his pass protection. After the 2019 season I could see the team letting Chris Thompson hit free agency and rolling with Hill to take on 3rd down duties if he does improve that area. The big questions are if Hill needs to add mass in the NFL and if his running style can translate to the power scheme the Redskins run. I think it can and I think Hill will eventually get a feel for the nuances. He has the short area quickness and agility to operate in tight quarters and with coaching he could turn some of the runs he did gain or even lost yards on into positives. The draft isn’t just about addressing current needs but future ones as well and the Redskins could add a lot of insurance at the position with the addition of Hill.