Brian Hill, RB, Wyoming: 2017 NFL Draft Scouting Report

Nov 12, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Wyoming Cowboys running back Brian Hill (5) rushes for a touchdown during a game against the UNLV Rebels at Sam Boyd Stadium. UNLV won the game in the third overtime period 69-66. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

Nov 12, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Wyoming Cowboys running back Brian Hill (5) rushes for a touchdown during a game against the UNLV Rebels at Sam Boyd Stadium. UNLV won the game in the third overtime period 69-66. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

The 2017 NFL draft class is loaded with potential feature running backs. Could Brian Hill join that enlarging group based on his scouting report?

Position: Junior

School: Wyoming

Year: Junior

Height: 6’1″

Weight: 219 lbs

STRENGTHS:

  • No issues with size. Has the kind of body and mass that fit the position well. Shows up in his toughness to absorb hard, repeated contact.
  • Runs with power. After his contact he keeps his legs driving and can pick up extra yards. Tackling up high is difficult because of this.
  • Does a good job of squaring up his blocks on passing plays. Shows the strength and toughness to absorb the initial hit and maintain his anchor. 
  • Despite bigger body he keeps his pad level low, making it difficult to get a good shot at him as a tackler. It’s part of why he can shrug them off so well.
  • Shows proper decisiveness. Doesn’t dance a lot. Picks a lane and gets downhill. His solid acceleration really shows up often thanks to this.

Everything about this run is who Hill is. He doesn’t do a lot of dancing or wiggling after the hand-off. He follows the blocking, accelerates to max speed right away and picks his lane to go. All the while he’s looking for the first tackler and lowers some serious boom in the process. It’s the type of run that sends a message to a defense that he’s not going to be the one who breaks first.

  • Experience running from both the zone-read and power I formations. Lends to his versatility in terms of offensive scheme fit.
  • He doesn’t get thrown to very often but at least shows proper use of his hands when making the catch, demonstrating potential in this area.
  • Angry on every run. Doesn’t go down easily and always seems to fall forward even when he’s stopped in the backfield.

WEAKNESSES:

  • A follow-the-blockers type of runner. If given holes he does a lot of damage but a lack of vision and elusiveness make him not much of a creative back.
  • He’s not lumbering but Hill doesn’t exhibit substantial speed. More of a slashing type who picks up large chunks but won’t often hit the home run.
  • Not overly agile. Running style and body type don’t make him much of a cutback runner. He’s better going in one direction. Won’t escape often trying to change.
  • More of a shoulder charger when delivering contact. Not making full use of his longer arms both running and in pass protection.

Pro Comparison:  DeMarco Murray

Aside from their body types being almost exactly the same, Hill represents the former Pro Bowl running back for his style. First and foremost he’s a throwback runner. It’s about downhill, power football and just wearing out the opponent with carry after carry. Tough as nails. Not overly athletic but slippery and underrated as a receiver and blocker in the passing game.

Projection:  3rd Round

Brian Hill is a good all-around running back. There isn’t anything about him that is special but there are plenty of things to like. Put him in an offense that will feed him the ball and he’ll churn out 1,000 or more yards every season for a team. Maybe not a highlight reel type, but definitely the kind of guy that can break the spirit of an opponent in the 4th quarter.

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