Jordan Hill to Seahawks: How Does the Defensive Tackle Fit with Seattle?
There isn't much not to like about this pick. Seattle filled a position of need along the interior of its defensive line with one of the most under-the-radar front seven players in the entire draft.
While Jordan Hill doesn't have the best build and generic numbers as some other defensive tackle prospects Seattle could have selected here, he is a great fit in its scheme.
Time to take a gander at how this seemingly perfect fit will work out for Seattle in 2013 and beyond.
Seattle lost Alan Branch to the Buffalo Bills in free agency. I am not entirely sure recently acquired Tony McDaniel was really the answer along Seattle's defensive line. He has been a marginal player in the NFL and has started just five games in seven NFL seasons. In short, Seattle needed to find someone who could come in and contribute immediately.
Hill fits that need to a T.
He was a two-year starter at Penn State and has the experience to come in and be a rotational player for Seattle as a rookie in 2013.
Bleacher Report's Dan Hope filed a scouting report on Hill earlier in April:
His lack of height is a detriment to playing 5-technique defensive end in a 3-4 scheme, but he has enough athleticism and interior pass-rushing ability to make the transition. He is best suited, however, to play in a 4-3 defense, likely to start out as a rotational player but potentially develop into a starting 3-technique defensive tackle.
This is what makes Hill such a good fit. He won't be asked to play outside in a scheme similar to the 3-4. This doesn't seem to fit his skill set. Instead, Hill comes in and will be able to play multiple roles for Seattle. Again, that's a huge bonus.
When selecting in the middle rounds, a contending team wants to find versatility at positions of need. This is exactly what Seattle did here.
I have a solid fourth-round grade for Hill. The primary reason for this is because he is a scheme-position player. It just so happens that Seattle runs the scheme that fits him the best.
Bleacher Report's Matt Miller had 148th overall on his big board and the 11th-best defensive tackle in the class.
Based on our analysis, this would seem like a bit of a reach.
That being said, there is no reason to believe that John Schneider and Co. took Hill without the understanding that he didn't represent value here. I will give them the benefit of the doubt.
On a broader level, this pick might represent more need than value, but I am darn sure that the fit is right there in front of our eyes. Can't blame Seattle for going with a plug-and-play prospect at the end of Day 2.
I have already touched on this, but it must be brought up again. Outside of Johnathan Hankins, it seems that Hill was the best fit for Seattle among day-two defensive tackle prospects.
Again, take a look at this from Dan Hope:
Hill is a very effective interior pass-rusher. He does a good job anticipating and getting a good jump off the snap, and then he is good at using his hands to beat blockers quickly in one-on-one situations. Once free, Hill has the athleticism to track down quarterbacks back in the pocket with pressure or force them out of the pocket.
It is hard to come to the conclusion that Seattle didn't get the best possible player for what it likes to do along the front seven. The descriptions we have seen as it relates to the defensive tackle prospect suggests that he was a direct replacement for Branch.
You will see Hill line up above the center as an interior line force. You will also see him line up outside the shoulder of the guard and even along the outside on specific pass-rush situations. Even as a rotational player, Hill should make a huge impact in 2013.
Eric Stoner looked at what Hill brings to the table immediately after he was selected Friday evening.
Great damn pick. Best hand usage of all interior DL in this draft. RT @fieldgulls: Jordan Hill - I didn’t study him closely— Eric Stoner (@ECStoner) April 27, 2013
It's nearly impossible to not like this pick. Schneider and Pete Carroll obviously did their homework when it came to defensive tackle prospects.
I heard some fans indicate that Brandon Williams from Missouri Southern State was a better fit, but that's just plain ridiculous. Seattle needed to get a versatile defensive lineman to replace Branch, not a 0-technique nose tackle who fits a 3-4 scheme.
As it relates to need and scheme fit, Seattle absolutely scored here. Throw value completely out the window and look at this pick for what it was—about as solid as you can in the end of the third round.
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