By John Boyle
The Seahawks used their third-round pick, 87th overall, on Jordan Hill, a 6-1, 303-pound defensive tackle from Penn State. Unlike Seattle’s last pick—RB Christine Michael—this selection fits more of a need. With Alan Branch, a two-year starter, now gone, the Seahawks have a vacancy for a starting job at defensive tackle. Newly signed Tony McDaniel could win that job, as could Jaye Howard, a fourth-round pick last year, but you’d have to think that Hill will now be in that competition as well.
Here’s a highlight video:
And here’s what NFL.com had to say about Hill:
STRENGTHS Shorter than scouts prefer, but uses that to his advantage when getting leverage against larger interior linemen. Fires out with low pad level, and immediately gains extension about contact with the blocker. Flashes the active and violent hands and strong upper-body to set aside off-balance guards. Works down the line with parallel shoulders, hustle and quickness, sometimes all the way to the sideline, to swallow running backs with his thick arms.
WEAKNESSES Better linemen can use their superior bulk and length to push Hill off the line and keep him engaged. His lack of size causes him to wear down if in the game for too long. Inconsistent using his hands to get off blocks. Though often tilted before the snap, might not quite have the first step and closing speed to become an elite three-technique pass rusher.
NFL COMPARISON Drake Nevis
BOTTOM LINE Hill doesn’t possess the ideal size for a defensive tackle, but he does use his short build to his advantage in terms of low pad level and the obtaining of leverage. Hill flashes strong and active hands (like against Penn State’s final 2012 opponent, Wisconsin, where he racked up 12 tackles and two sacks), but he is not always consistent with this effort. Hill is also not tremendously quick, and can be worn down when he sees too many snaps. For these reasons, Hill likely will have to work as a part of a rotation in the NFL.