B.J. Hill : The Unexpected Starting Lineman

– by Alexnader George

When the New York Giants drafted B.J. Hill from North Carolina State with their second pick in the third round round, the initial impression by the organization was that Hill will  utilized only as a rotational player. Upon the completion of mini-camp though, defensive coordinator James Bettcher has concluded that Hill will play a significant role , as a possible starting defensive end, in the coordinator’s 3-4 defensive alignment. As a defensive  end in the 3-4 scheme, B.J. Hill acknowledges that his purpose is to stop the run first before the pass.bj hill

Bettcher would agree with Hill’s statement as the former Arizona’s defensive coordinator’s main goal for the Giants defensive line is to disrupt and dominate the opposing offensive line through tackles at or behind the line of scrimmage. B.J. Hill fits that role without any doubt. Hill has the record of the most college career tackles (183) by a defensive tackle in this year’s draft. Furthermore, his tackles for losses (23.5) ranks as one of the best college defensive tackles in this category in 2017. This is due to his lateral agility and physique which would enable him to slip off blocks to stop runners at the line of scrimmage. Also, Hill’s height at 6 feet 4 inches can be used to his advantage by deflecting or knocking down passes thereby adding the role of pass defender to his resume. With the tied record for most passes defended  (9) by a defensive tackle as a rookie lineman, Bettcher could not have asked for a better all-around defensive lineman to operate in both running and passing plays.

Josh Mauro, a free agent from the Cardinals serving a four game suspension and Kerry Wynn, an undrafted free agent signed by the Giants in 2014, have not had the first team reps that Hill has had in mini – camp with nose tackle Damon “Snacks” Harrison and defensive end Dalvin Tomlinson. Conclusively, B.J. Hill has the opportunity to be the missing piece of the Giants’ triumvirate defensive line, in which Bettcher’s frontline game plan can be executed. Not bad for a player whose orignal purpose for the Giants organization was to be merely be a rotational player for the seasoned veterans.

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