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New York Giants 2022 Training Camp Roster Preview: ILB Justin Hilliard

What advantages does linebacker Justin Hilliard bring to help him in his quest for a roster spot?

New York Giants inside linebacker Justin Hilliard was signed as an undrafted free agent by the 49ers after the 2021 NFL Draft, reportedly at the urging of Nick Bosa, his former college teammate.

Hilliard was a six-year linebacker at Ohio State and a top recruit coming out of high school in 2014. His college career can best be described as one that was injury-filled--he had injuries to both biceps, an Achilles injury, and a knee issue. Still, he managed to play 50 games with seven starts, posting his most productive year in 2020 with 33 tackles (five for loss), three fumble recoveries, and one interception.

Despite that production, Hilliard, who lacks ideal athleticism, went undrafted and didn't make the 53-man roster coming out of his first training camp. The 49ers waived Hilliard, and the Giants claimed his contract, hoping to develop a diamond in the rough.

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Unfortunately, that hasn't happened as Hilliard was placed on injured reserve last season on October 15 after playing just 15 special teams snaps.

Jan 11, 2021; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes linebacker Justin Hilliard (47) against the Alabama Crimson Tide in the 2021 CFP National Championship Game.
Aug 14, 2021; Santa Clara, California, USA; San Francisco 49ers linebacker Justin Hilliard (58) tackles Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Darrius Shepherd (9) during the fourth quarter at Levi's Stadium.
Aug 29, 2021; Santa Clara, California, USA; San Francisco 49ers linebacker Justin Hilliard (58) tackles Las Vegas Raiders wide receiver Keelan Doss (18) during the third quarter at Levi's Stadium.

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