Scouting Report: Jeremy Hill, RB, LSU

Scouting Report: Jeremy Hill, RB, LSU

A big back with three-down potential
By: Pete Davidson : March 22, 2014 1:22pm

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As most of our readers know, this is a fantasy football site, and this article is an important read in the context of fantasy football, because LSU’s Jeremy Hill is a potential three-down monster at the next level if he lands in the right situation. Yes, the right situation. It’s a phrase I wear out big-time when it comes to running backs, and this year is a really tough year in terms of finding starting gigs at the next level.

So, like every other back in this year’s draft, Hill could use a break in terms of where he gets drafted. We’d love to see him to go to a team like the Jets, where he could beat out Chris Ivory, or maybe the Falcons as the heir apparent to Steven Jackson. The Titans would be another good spot assuming they release Chris Johnson as everybody seems to assume they will.

Hill is not getting tons of love right now and it’s easy to understand why. He had a mediocre Combine and he’s a running back in a draft dominated by controversial quarterbacks and the deepest receiver class I’ve ever seen. Let’s take a quick look at what Hill did in Indianapolis.

  • Height - 6’1”
  • Weight - 233
  • Hands - 10 3/8”
  • 40 - 4.66
  • Bench - 20 reps
  • Vertical Jump - 29”
  • Broad Jump - 113”

The numbers are run of the mill and are not indicative of how good Hill could be in a year or two.  Then again, if you compare him to Alfred Morris, he did pretty well for the most part and Hill can do more things on a football field than Morris can.

Hill has a two arrests in his past and the info on them are somewhat sketchy. Hill was proactive with the NFL teams at the Combine.

Hill definitely understands that his past is an issue. “I can’t change any of that stuff that happened. You can move forward. I can’t put myself down. Everyone in life makes mistakes. There’s no one in this building that hasn’t made a mistake. For me to put myself [down] is not going to help the situation. All I can do is move forward and learn from the situation.”

Hill was asked if it was advantageous to come out of college with less mileage. “I was definitely blessed in college not to have any significant injuries. I just did my medical screening and passed it with flying colors. I think that’s another advantage I have. Not playing that many years I won’t have as much wear and tear on my body. I think that’s a huge thing for me going into the NFL.”

Hill was also asked what part of his game translates well at the next level. “Being in a pro style offense helps, having (LSU OC) coach Cam Cameron come in and bring a lot of NFL protections and run schemes into the mix definitely helps me a lot. It transfers right over to the NFL teams. The learning curve for me is going to be a lot smaller than a lot of other guys coming into the NFL.”

This is definitely not a dumb kid. He understands what’s important and what the stakes are. I can't vouch for his past, but he’s clearly well focused on his future. He’s also getting good advice from what I can tell.

Let’s take a look at the things we like about Hill.

  • Size - You can’t teach 233 pounds. Hill’s a big downhill runner.
  • Speed - I’ll stick my neck out a bit here and say that Hill’s speed on film (in pads) is better than the 4.66 he ran at the Combine. His speed is more than adequate for a back his size. He didn’t get caught from behind very much in the SEC.
  • Agility - He has the good feet you look for in a big back and he makes the small adjustments on inside runs that keep the chains moving and leads to the next attribute we like.
  • Yards after contact - Hill runs with a nice wide base inside and gets consistent yards after contact when you watch his film. He’s not going to make a lot of people miss, but he avoids clean shots well and bounces off a lot of would-be tacklers.
  • Ball security - Hill has one fumble on his resume and that's on 371 career touches.
  • Pass protection - This is important because if he continues to get better in this area, he could be outstanding and he’s already got the chops to be a very good early down power back. For fantasy GMs, this is a crucial detail. Hill has legit three-down potential at the next level.
  • Hands - While he wasn’t used a ton in the passing game, he did contribute when asked and he shows good hands for a big back and decent hips too. Again, he has the look of a back who could develop into an every down back.
  • Running style - We like the way Jeremy runs. His pad level is a little inconsistent at times, but he tends to get down low when he needs to. He’s a vertical runner or a north/south runner if you prefer, and he's no nonsense.   He’s not a guy who leaves much on the table due to indecision. If anything, he can get a bit impatient at times and force the issue a bit early, but this is an area that he can improve on pretty easily.
  • Motor - We have yet to see him give poor effort. Hill finished all of runs with vigor and doesn’t take plays off in pass protection. These are good harbingers.
  • Health - Hill has no serious injuries on his record. That’s another nice plus.
  • Production - Hill leaves school a year early, but he was productive while he was there and it was against top NCAA competition.

Here’s a good look at Hill last season vs. Auburn.

Here’s a game later in the year vs. Arkansas. Much thanks to Draft Breakdown for all their good work.

What you see is what you get with Hill. It’s nothing fancy, but it’ll play well in the NFL. The risk is the off-field stuff, but we’re not particularly worried as he’s been well behaved in recent years and seems focused and contrite at this point.

As I alluded to at the opening, this is one of the guys who fantasy footballers need to know about. We’ll be all over Hill this year if he catches a break in terms of whom he gets drafted by. This kid is a dynasty target for sure and redraft value is very possible in 2014. 


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