Defensive lineman B.J. Hill, a Giants third-round draft pick in 2018, has always been an afterthought, given his part-time play status.
Since his rookie season when he played in 50% of the defensive snaps, he's seen his workload decrease, last year playing at a career-low 35% of the defensive snaps. But there is a lot to like about Hill as a potential rotation player.
What He Brings
When we talk about B.J. Hill, we have to start with his durability: Hill, who has 17 career starts to his name (none in 2020), has yet to miss an NFL game.
Hill seemed to be an ideal fit for the Giants' 3-4 defensive line rotation, where he played 167 of his 372 defensive line snaps in 2020 at left defensive tackle. He plays a physical ball game. He also has shown an instinct for getting upfield, which is why most of his career snaps have come on passing downs (865 passing-down snaps to 635 run-defense snaps).
The problem is that the 6’3” and 310-pound Hill has sort of been stuck in limbo. He's probably not heavy enough to move inside to the nose. And the Giants probably don't want to take Leonard Williams and Dexter Lawrence II off the field too much other than for the occasional breather, at which point Hill likely becomes the first man off the bench.
So, where does Hill fit? We go back to his rookie season, where he had his most productive year, particularly in 4-man defensive fronts as a 3-tech player. That season, Hill recorded 5.5 sacks and 48 tackles. (Last year, those numbers fell to one sack and 32 tackles.)
The bottom line is Hill is a solid player who, if PFF grades mean anything to anyone, has gotten better with his snaps reduced. That spells out "rotational player" in big, bold letters.
Hill is entering the final year of his rookie contract and will count for $2,440,379 against the salary cap.
Before free agency, it was thought that Hill might be a candidate to bulk up and move inside to replace Dalvin Tomlinson. However, the Giants' addition of Danny Shelton and their re-signing Austin Johnson suggests the plan is to continue having Hill contribute as a rotational defensive end.
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