Editor's note: This is not direct advice telling you to draft this particular player. The 'What Can This Rookie Do For You' series aims to show you the traits of each running back. What scheme could lead to the most fantasy points for him. And any other noteworthy things.
Justice Hill is an explosive runner with the burst to rattle off big chunks of yardage in the right system.
We will dive into what that system is and how he could be effective for an NFL team and your fantasy team.
Hill's combine numbers illustrate his burst ability. He ran the fastest 40-time at the 2019 combine among running backs (4.40). He also tested among the highest for the broad and vertical jump. This explosiveness is shown on the field with his ability to change strides and accelerate.
But although he ran a great 40, there are some things about his game speed that don't exactly translate to the field.
Hill frequently gets chased down by defenders in the open field. Meaning he's not as fast in pads as he is in shorts.
But even though the tape didn't show Hill as a true home run hitter, there's still a lot to like about his game.
Let's see where he fits best in the NFL.
Born for a gap system?
Hill was used primarily in the shotgun at Oklahoma State. Though they occasionally split him out wide.
He's at his best when he can sift around the line, find a lane and use his burst to accelerate quickly for chunks of yards. You'll see this in an example below against Kansas State.
Notice how fast he gets up field after he decides where to run.
His burst allows him to cover a lot of ground. Leading to a big gain. This was made possible due to him identifying the running lane and then shooting down the crease.
Because he's undersized, Hill will likely struggle as a short yardage back. So don't expect a lot of goal line touchdowns from him at the NFL level.
A hard runner
Though he's undersized, the effort is definitely there with Hill. He fights for extra yardage and can even take a few players along for a ride from time to time.
The running back position is a raw one, where those little extra inches of effort pay off in the form of 2-3 more yards.
Hill can definitely do this. He can fight and move the chains. As you'll see in this run below.
Whether or not Hill can do this consistently will decide if he can be a solid backup or just a depth guy at the NFL level.
What could hold him back?
If you draft Hill to your fantasy team, you're going to have to hope he improves his pass blocking. This was a weak area for him at Oklahoma State. Although he struggled, he does show mental instincts to know where to be on the field when it comes down to who to block. He sometimes dives at defenders, which can be ineffective.
This could keep him off the field on passing downs. But it's common for younger running backs to struggle at this and many have drastically improved with practice.
Can he catch?
Though he wasn't thrown to a lot in college, Hill showed some ability to make plays in the receiving game. He was especially effective on flat routes where he could just turn up the field and go.
Despite that, he was pretty limited in his routes run at Oklahoma State. So there's not a big sample size to look at. However, it doesn't mean that he can't catch at the NFL level.
Hill is an exciting runner. He racks up yards quickly due to his great burst/acceleration. He's not a pure home run hitter as he lacks top line speed. He also struggles in pass protection as of now. There's potential for him to have some success in a gap system at NFL level.