LANDOVER, MD - NOVEMBER 20: Defensive lineman Jordan Hill #47 of the Penn State Nittany defends against the Indiana University Hoosiers at FedEx Field on November 20, 2010 in Landover, Maryland. Penn State won 41-24. (Photo by Ned Dishman/Getty Images)
Penn State defensive tackle Jordan Hill was lightly recruited coming out of high school, choosing Penn State over Rutgers. He was fairly productive over the past two seasons as a starter, racking up 16.5 tackles for loss and eight sacks.
Hill is a short (6-1) defensive tackle with limited explosiveness. It obviously doesn’t really matter how high or far a defensive lineman can jump in games, but his 22.5-inch vertical and 8-7 broad jump show that Hill is by no means an elite athlete.
On tape, Hill does a nice job of utilizing his tools. He fires off of the ball and typically maintains good leverage. He’s not very strong for his size, but he uses that strength well to drive interior linemen into the backfield at times. There’s a reason he was able to make so many tackles in the backfield.
The problem for Hill is that he might have maxed out his physical tools. As a player who can get overpowered at times but possesses below-average athleticism, I think Hill’s ceiling as a pro is very limited. He can be a rotational player, but the hope that he’ll transform into a Pro Bowl-caliber player seems unwarranted.
NFL Comparison: Kyle Love
Another undersized defensive tackle with limited athleticism, Love has been a decent rotational player for the New England Patriots.
Hill figures to be a mid-round pick, probably around the fourth or fifth. Although Hill might be one of the best current players on the board at that point, teams should really be searching for upside in that range. Hill is the football equivalent of the old lady playing penny slots in a casino; she might not go broke, but she’s certainly not getting rich either.
Fit In Dallas
Hill would need to fight for playing time as a rookie, although I’m not sure where he’d find it. With Jay Ratliff and Jason Hatcher starting and Sean Lissemore and Tyrone Crawford backing them up, Hill’s snaps would be very limited.
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Jonathan Bales is the founder of The DC Times. He writes for DallasCowboys.com and the New York Times. He's also the author of Fantasy Football for Smart People: How to Dominate Your Draft.