PRO 2020 Rookie Spotlight: K.J. Hill, WR Ohio State

Rookie Spotlight: K.J. Hill, Ohio State
Height: 6’ 0” (official)
Weight: 192 lbs (official)
Hands: 9”
Arm: 29”
40 yard dash: 4.50 (unofficial)
NFL Comparison: Jarvis Landry

– elite hands
– excellent route runner
– consistent production despite various QBs
– good footwork
– huge standout during senior bowl practices

– avoids physicality
– questionable game speed
– struggles with the press
– very lackluster production as a senior

2019 Team Market Share Numbers

21% team receptions
17% receiving yards
21% receiving TDs

Scouting Notes: K.J. Hill is the epitome of consistency. He had at least 56 receptions in his last three seasons, and he caught at least one pass in 49 consecutive games to end his career at Ohio State. Hill isn’t particularly fast on the field, but he does possess super sticky hands and he may be one of the best route runners in the draft. At the Senior Bowl he would get open at will:

He had numerous QBs at the college level, and yet he was able to produce year after year, scoring 10 TDs in his final season. The team market-share numbers are not great, but we also need to remember that this is a guy who caught DOUBLE the footballs (70) of Terry McLaurin (35) in McLaurin’s final year at OSU. If he doesn’t get jammed up at the line, Hill can outmaneuver his defender in most cases with his stellar footwork and smooth running style. He’s also got impressive body control and can change direction on a dime. Hill is somewhat of a finesse player though, and things get a lot more difficult for him in the press or at the contested catch. This is primarily why he’s a possession slot receiver. He’s also not going to break many tackles, though he can juke his way to extra yards. I suppose the silver lining to Hill’s contact-avoidant play is that he stays healthy and is able to produce on such a consistent level, and his elusiveness leads to the fairly frequent causing of missed tackles as PFF has him graded with evade 31 total tackles over the last 3 seasons.

Fantasy Outlook: Hill is a PPR special. He doesn’t have a sky-high ceiling, but his floor could be significant. For this reason, him being a safe but unsexy prospect could cause him to lose ground to some flashier prospects in the draft. I do think whoever drafts him will be satisfied though. There aren’t many holes in his game from the perspective of someone who would use him in the slot almost exclusively, where his lack of physicality wouldn’t come into play as much. Hill probably won’t boom that much in the NFL, but he’s also likely to avoid many bust games. He’s one of the most solid mid-round dynasty picks in this year’s draft.

From the Ohio State Athletic Department:

Ohio State Overview: K.J. Hill, perhaps influenced by the outstanding fifth-year seasons – and subsequent early round NFL Draft selections – had by receivers Parris Campbell and Terry McLaurin in 2018, will lead the Ohio State receiving corps as a fifth-year senior and a potential record-setting receiver … Hill’s receptions, yards and touchdown totals have increased every season and he enters 2019 needing just 48 receptions to break David Boston’s 20-year-old school record of 191 career receptions … his 1,696 receiving yards place him 17th in school history and within range of a Top 5 yardage total in school history … Hill has caught a pass in 34 consecutive games – the school record is 48 by Gary Williams between 1979-82 – dating to the 2016 game against Northwestern … has played in 39 games with four starts … was named honorable mention all-Big Ten in 2018 after a 70-catch season, for 885 yards and six touchdowns … set career high with 187 receiving yards – the eighth-highest total in school history – and two touchdowns, off nine receptions, in the win over Minnesota … also scored touchdowns last year in wins against TCU, Penn State, Maryland and Michigan … had a fine sophomore campaign in 2017 when he led the team in receptions with 56 and was second in yards with 549 … had a career-best 12 receptions – the fourth-highest total in school history – and 102 receiving yards in the dramatic, come-from-behind win over Penn State … dependable, Hill also was the team’s primary punt returner with 26 returns for 144 yards (5.5 average) in 2017 … after red-shirting the 2015 season, Hill had a productive 2016 campaign, just missing a 20-catch season but leading the Ohio State receivers (10 or more catches) with a 14.6 yards-per-reception average … he played in 11 of 13 games in 2016, missing two with an ankle injury … he is majoring in communications.

More on K.J.: Coming out of high school Hill was a consensus 4-star receiver who was named a U.S. Army All-American after an outstanding senior season for coach Brad Bolding … he helped the Charging Wildcats to an 11-2 season and to the second round of the Arkansas state 7A playoffs, catching 58 passes for 1,023 yards and 11 touchdowns plus rushing for 386 yards and seven more scores … he had 63 catches for 1,143 yards and 16 touchdowns as a junior as North Little Rock advanced to the state playoffs … the No. 1 player in the state, Hill was also considered a Top 20 receiver with a No. 16 rating by ESPN and 247Sports and a No. 18 rating by Rivals … was rated among the Top 150 players in the nation by all the rating services, including No. 153 on the ESPN 300 … advanced to the 7-on-7 finals at The Opening … a highly regarded basketball player.

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