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PFF scouting report: Brian Hill, RB, Wyoming

LAS VEGAS, NV - NOVEMBER 12: Running back Brian Hill #5 of the Wyoming Cowboys rushes against the UNLV Rebels during their game at Sam Boyd Stadium on November 12, 2016 in Las Vegas, Nevada. UNLV won 69-66 in triple overtime. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

Name: Brian Hill

School: Wyoming

Position fit: Running back

Stats to know: Had 30 runs of 15-plus yards in 2016, third-most in the draft class.

What he does best:

  • Physical runner who will deliver contact.
  • Great pad level for his height. Makes it difficult for defenders to take him on up high and forces them to go low to bring him down.
  • Experience with both zone- and power-blocking schemes in Wyoming’s offense.
  • Only five career fumbles, including none on 357 touches in 2016.
  • Durable, can handle large workload.

Biggest concerns:

  • Change of direction in the open field cumbersome at times, particularly when taking on safeties straight-on, and one-on-one.
  • One-speed back. Hits the point of attack at full speed, but can be impatient and not allow first-level blocks to fully develop.
  • Not very elusive and doesn’t show the ability to make defenders miss in the hole often.
  • 41 career catches in the passing game. Nothing special as a receiver.
  • Allowed 32 total pressures over past three years.

Bottom line: Hill is a physical runner who delivers contact to defenders and has great pad level for being 6-foot-1. He hits holes at near-full speed. When blocks are good, this leads to big runs as he can get through the second-level quickly with little time for linebackers to react. But if the blocks at the point of attack are muddy, he frequently does not show the patience adjust his pacing and allow his blocks to develop, causing him to either into defenders that aren’t sufficiently-blocked yet or run into his own offensive linemen. He does a good job getting what the offensive line provides, but is not as effective when he has to create on his own at the first level. He has done a good job avoiding fumbles, although he will want to work on keeping the ball tighter since he can be susceptible to holding ball out wide to help keep balance when changing hard directions in the open field. Even though he stayed in to pass protect far more often than most other backs and is part of the reason his total pressure are so high, his pass-blocking efficiency rate is still poor. Hill can be an effective runner in the NFL, preferably behind an above-average offensive line, but he’s more of an early-, two-down back based on his skillset combined with his struggles in pass protection.

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