HEIGHT: 6'0 1/2"
WEIGHT: 229 lbs
—A violent, active linebacker.
—Saw playing time over projected top-100 pick Baron Browning at times.
—High-effort player who could be a premium player on special teams.
—Overall athleticism is poor for an NFL linebacker.
—Lost a lot of playing time because of injury.
—Only started seven games in six years at Ohio State.
33 TKL, 5 TFL, 1 INT, 1 PBU, 3 FR, 1 FF
—Ohio's Division I defensive player of the year during his senior season.
—Made only seven starts in his six years with Ohio State, in part because of injuries.
—Was a team captain in 2020.
Despite never becoming a full-time starter with Ohio State, Justin Hilliard saw significant playing time in a rotational role with the program, even earning captainship as a senior. Injuries stunted his career a bit, as did the influx of talented defenders on the Buckeyes roster, but he is a violent player who is willing to play special teams, which opens a way for him to stick on an NFL roster.
His athleticism is not up to par with NFL starters, but he may be able to see the field as a starting linebacker off the bench in an injury situation.
GRADE: 6.8/10 (Round 5)
OVERALL RANK: 204/300
POSITION RANK: LB15
PRO COMPARISON: Keishawn Bierria
Written by B/R NFL Scout Justis Mosqueda