Grading the Atlanta Falcons draft picks: Brian Hill

Round 5, Pick 156

It might have been a little surprising to hear a running back’s name called by the Falcons, considering they already have a two-headed monster in Tevin Coleman and Devonta Freeman. Brian Hill is a true downhill running back, who does not have the same receiving capabilities as the Falcons’ current backs. He only caught eight passes last season for Wyoming. He is physical runner that can pick up tough yards in short-yardage situations. Dan Quinn’s aggressive nature leads to a lot of fourth down situations where the Falcons have needed this type of runner. This is not Freeman or Coleman’s strong suit. Hill should immediately be able to play a role in this capacity.

Beyond this year, Hill could prove to be a major factor in the Falcons offense. There is no guarantee Devonta Freeman is re-signed by the team. Freeman has put up video-game like numbers over the past two seasons, but running backs are a dime a dozen. They can be found on the street in some cases, and as quickly as they are found they disappear. Investing big-time dollars into the position can be a poor decision. Atlanta has several other players they are going to want to extend going forward. If Hill can provide another productive option to tote the rock, the Falcons might opt to let Freeman walk and continue with the thunder and lightning combination of Hill and Coleman.

Grade: B

Atlanta has had some tremendous success drafting in the 5th round. They selected Grady Jarrett in this round two years ago, and he has been a slam-dunk A+ ever since. Although, most of the time you are just hoping to find any player that can help contribute now or in the near future. Hill is one of those players who probably will only be used in select situations this season, but do not be surprised to hear his name called a lot down the road. This kid does not lack any confidence and claims he is the best running back in the class. The 1,860 yards and 22 touchdowns he ran for last year back that up pretty well too. He will always be a serviceable back-up but has the potential to develop into an every-down back in the NFL.

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