The Los Angeles Rams have talent on the defensive line, but not enough of it. Les Snead and Sean McVay will certainly address the hole in the offseason, most likely in the NFL Draft. NC State’s B.J. Hill could be a target for the Rams on Day 3 of the draft.
Hill possesses great athleticism for an interior lineman. Having played running back and defensive end in high school, Hill is quick off the ball and moves well for his size. Hill has incredible upper body strength, finishing with the third most bench press reps at his position at the combine. He uses his strength to his advantage when making tackles and getting through blocks.
Availability is often the best ability. Hill played in every game last season and appeared in at least 11 games in all four of his seasons at NC State. Injuries won’t be a concern with Hill.
It may come as a surprise to some people seeing a scouting report for an NC State defensive lineman not named Bradley Chubb. This actually seems relevant for the Rams. Hill has experience playing as the foil to the best defensive lineman in the country, and was exceptional as the Wolfpack’s other half of the duo. Hill would likely take advantage of the attention opposing teams pay to Aaron Donald and even Michael Brockers.
Peaked statistically as a sophomore. While he had a career high in tackles in 2017, he never produced more tackles for loss, sacks or pass deflections than he did in 2015. Hill struggled to deal with double teams, often getting buried whenever he was in a 2-on-1 situation.
He also played defensive tackle in a 4-2-5 scheme, so Hill doesn’t have experience playing in a 3-4. The Rams need a nose tackle and Hill would need to be groomed a bit before stepping into the role.
Hill doesn’t strike me as a guy that will ever anchor an NFL defensive line. Luckily for him, the Rams have no need of a primary or even a secondary option to step up in their interior lineman rotation. The team has a more pressing need for an edge rusher or linebacker, so defensive tackle may not be addressed until Day 2 or even Day 3.
B.J. Hill has the size and strength to be a productive nose tackle in the NFL. If he can’t adjust to the traditional nose position, he could still produce for the Rams as a rotation player behind Donald and Brockers. Hill should be in the mix with the Rams fourth round pick. If the team chooses another player and Hill falls to the fifth round, the Rams should strongly consider trading one of their sixth round picks to move up and take him.
Steve Rebeiro is a staff writer and podcast host for Rams Talk. He is an alumni of Marquette University. For more of his opinions, follow him on Twitter here.