Class: Redshirt Senior
Please note that this ranking of Hill is subject to change and that if he returns to his early 2014 form in 2016, there’s a good chance I will have him ranked much higher than I do in this report. I do like to take note of the developmental process, thus 2017 tape holds more value than 2016 or 2014 tape from me because it shows how the player is currently. With that being said, enjoy the report.
Games Watched: 2014 vs South Carolina, Mississippi State, Ole Miss, and Alabama, 2016 vs South Dakota State, SMU, Texas, TCU, and Georgia
Bio: Hill’s father, Ken Sr., played 14 seasons as a pitcher with the Montreal Expos, winning 117 games and finishing second in the 1994 NL Cy Young voting. Hill was named the Texas Gatorade Player of the year in 2012 and was a dynamic passer and dual threat option, also making the All-State team his final three years in high school. Hill went to Texas A&M as a four-star recruit, sitting behind Johnny Manziel as a freshman but winning the job in camp the following season. The first four games of the season were a dream for Hill, as he passed for more than 400 yards twice and established himself as a Heisman Trophy frontrunner while setting school records in his first career start against South Carolina with 44 completions for 511 yards. However, things went downhill from there as the Aggies lost three successive games to Mississippi State, Ole Miss and Alabama in which Hill threw six combined interceptions. He was benched eight games into the season for true freshman Kyle Allen and was arrested for public intoxication and suspended for a violation of team rules. Hill announced that he would be transferring to TCU, although he would need to sit out for a season. As a redshirt junior, Hill started 13 games and had 3,208 passing yards, 17 touchdowns while adding 609 rushing yards. Hill enters his senior season as the presumptive starter with Kyle Hicks and Sewo Olonilua providing a more consistent running attack.
Arm Strength: Hill has a very strong arm and does a good job of putting the correct trajectory on his throws. His accuracy when throwing off his backfoot and across his body is surprisingly good and he often forces himself into situations where he has to do this. Does not need much of a window to wind up his throws and can hit passes with good power and velocity at the flick of a wrist.
Arm Accuracy: Hill’s accuracy is erratic and hit-and-miss at times due to the angles and situations he forces himself into. However, he will make some eye-popping throws into tight windows and his dual threat abilities make him an issue for defenses to face. His deep and intermediate accuracy are benefitted by his arm talent but it may take several years in the NFL for it to be fully refined.
Decision Making: Has a “hero ball” mentality that leads to unnecessary turnovers and sacks at times. Will often go for a big play rather than an open pass on a checkdown and often doesn’t have a regard for himself when he tucks it and tries to run for extra yards. This is something that the NFL will not work as consistently and will need to be fixed in order for consistency.
Pocket Presence: Hill does a very nice job of moving out of and around the pocket while stepping into his passes and putting good zip on his passes. Has a tendency at times to fold when a pass rusher gains a step on an offensive lineman to panic and roll out and making a bad pass, but is something that can be fixed with a NFL offensive line and coaching. Sometimes struggles with moving around the pocket and keeping his eyes downfield.
Anticipation: Hill has nice anticipation on sideline throws but struggles to put touch on passes overall. Multiple occurrences where a receiver has a step on a defender deep and the pass ends up five yards in front of him. However, on the goal line on fade and slant routes has nice placement and anticipation to put it where only the receiver can get it.
Mechanics/Footwork: While Hill does a good job of taking three steps drops and maneuvering around the pocket, his footwork could use significant work. Rare that a player throws more from an inconsistent platform and window than a consistent one, but that’s how Hill functions. Struggles to keep his body balanced when throwing.
Overall Grade: 65/100 (Late Sixth Round)
The Bottom Line
While Kenny Hill looked the part for a stretch in 2014 and has shown a dynamic dual threat ability, his game is not translatable to the NFL at the moment. Due to inconsistencies in his decision making and pocket presence, he doesn’t offer much more than a developmental backup at the moment. Now, if Hill can show growth with a more consistent running game around himself in 2017, there is a good chance that he can go early on Day 3. However, teams will likely take into account his off-field concerns and raw game as of right now and not have him very highly rated on their boards.