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Article Rookie Rundown #4: Justice Hill, RB, Oklahoma State


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Rookie Rundown #4: Justice Hill, RB, Oklahoma State

Since 2015, the NFL has been experiencing a bit of a running back renaissance, with top level picks such as Todd Gurley, Ezekiel Elliot, Leonard Fournette, and Saquon Barkley all succeeding in some capacity at the NFL level. Even though it’s now a passing league, running the football is still a perfectly valid way to win games.

The way the Baltimore Ravens won in 2018 towards the end of the season was running the football, and relying on the defense to keep the lead. The problem is that we were leaning too much on Lamar Jackson, and that Gus Edwards is an honest to god product of the system. Thankfully, Eric seemed to notice this as well, signing Mark Ingram on the cheap and drafting rookie running back Justice Hill.

For those who think that the Baltimore Ravens are trying to emulate the Chiefs, think again. This team is trying to be the New Orleans Saints, down to running their exact rushing scheme and trying to emulate their rushing attack. Mark Ingram was the guy who starts drives, and wore defenses down. Alvin Kamara came in and was a little bolt of energy who would take advantage of exhausting defenses and capitalize, turning out big games. Make no mistakes, as great as Drew Brees is, that rushing attack did him a lot of favors the previous two seasons.

So, we are counting on Justice Hill to be our Alvin Kamara. He’s more like a homeless man’s Alvin Kamara, but he’s still a really good football player.


The name of the game with Justice Hill is speed. In a very lackluster running back class, Hill was probably the fastest and most explosive of the bunch. He never won with power like Josh Jacobs, that’s not his game, and unlike David Montgomery he’s got acceleration.


In between the tackles, hits the gas, and more than ten years near instantly. Given that we aren’t going to rely on him to be a starter, I’d expect him to have multiple runs like this throughout the season. Ingram and Edwards will grind defenses to a pulp.

It goes without saying but Hill has the long-speed to boot. The best thing about his game though has to be his jump cut. This dude makes people miss almost instantly. Adding 3-4 yards to runs more than he should have, and allowing him to occasionally make something out of nothing.


He can win the short and long corners because his acceleration is near-instant.

He doesn’t have too many displays as a receiver, but when given opportunities he generally capitalized. The flat was open too often last year, and Hill might make defenses pay for that.

His only true weakness is that despite effort as a pass protector, his technique is sloppy, which I give to bad coaching. Any NFL level coaching likely improves since he DOES try. His vision can also be a little inconsistent, but most of that I attribute to him looking for home runs. I call this “Barry Sanders syndrome”, as even though he was legendary he still had lost plays because he’s looking for the home run.

To me though, that doesn’t matter. Our scheme can mask those two weaknesses because of the two runners in front of him. Greg Roman will use a lot of zone concepts with him to confuse tired defenses. At max I see us giving him 10, maybe 12 carries a game. Which, while that doesn’t sound like a lot, is very valuable in today’s NFL. I don’t expect him to be a starter, but that doesn’t mean he won’t be a weapon, because he’s going to be.

The fact of the matter is that Hill is good enough in my eyes to go with either power schemes or zone schemes as a runner. We will put him in as a change of pace back to catch the defenses off guard.