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June 22, 2017

Hill Of An Athlete

Former BYU quarterback Taysom Hill will be fascinating to watch in the weeks and perhaps months to come – not to mention easy to root for. The 26-year-old dealt with one major injury after another in college and never gave up. And while his chances of making the roster aren’t good, it would be foolish to bet against him.

The Packers will likely give Hill a look at quarterback before even thinking about changing his position, but that’s something that could happen down the road. Because he lacks accuracy on his deep throws, there are scouts who believe his best chance at sticking in the NFL is either as a running back or a safety. That might sound strange to say about a QB, but how many QBs run 4.4 and have a vertical jump of 38.5 inches?

But before trying to turn Hill into the next Tim Tebow, he deserves a legitimate opportunity to play quarterback at the next level. Unlike everybody’s favorite minor league baseball player, Hill actually has an NFL arm. He has the ability to make all the throws. Whether he can make them consistently is the only question.

Hill reminds me in some ways of Rich Gannon, another extremely productive college quarterback who many scouts believed belonged at another position. All the former Delaware star did during a 17-year career in the NFL was win an MVP award, lead the Oakland Raiders to the Super Bowl in 2003 and throw for over 28,000 yards and 180 touchdowns. Gannon just needed patience, quality coaching and an opportunity. But to be fair, he showed more accuracy in college, and he wasn’t 26 when he entered the league.

Mike McCarthy and his assistant coaches spent three summers working with noodle-armed Graham Harrell and they’re about to spend a second summer working with future AFL star Joe Callahan. Neither player had or has close to the potential of Hill, whose ability to escape from trouble and then make a play down the field is unique – and it’s one of the things that make him well worth developing. At quarterback.

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6 Responses “Hill Of An Athlete”

  1. TJV
    May 5, 2017 at 11:49 am

    I’ll say he “dealt with one major injury after another…” Here’s his list of injuries according to the jsonline story about UDFAs: “Started in 2012 before suffering a season-ending knee injury. His ’14 season was ended in Game 5 by a broken fibula and ligament damage in his ankle. His ’15 season was ended in the opener by a Lisfranc foot injury that required surgery. Started all of ’16 before suffering a triceps tendon injury in his elbow in the regular-season finale that required surgery.”

    He says he got several calls after the draft but chose Green Bay because of Alex Van Pelt.

  2. Nerd
    May 5, 2017 at 2:52 pm

    If he can get up to speed anywhere, he can get up to speed in Green Bay.

  3. Saguaro
    May 6, 2017 at 1:13 pm

    I have always thought that the ideal back-up QB is a hybrid runner/passer since the #2 gets so few reps during practice that scrambling around is about his only hope of moving the ball for the first couple games, and certainly when coming in for an injured starter. Hill sounds like he can run around if he can stay healthy.

  4. TJV
    May 7, 2017 at 10:45 am

    I think accuracy, poise and knowing the offense extremely well are more important attributes than being a hybrid runner/passer for a backup QB. I’d rather have a QB with great pocket presence who can slip rushers than one that is a quasi RB. From what little I’ve read about Hill, it seems accuracy will be his biggest hurdle.

    BTW, why a staff which supposedly excels at developing QBs stuck with Graham Harrell so long is a mystery.

  5. May 9, 2017 at 2:41 pm

    Has anyone tested his speed lately? last year it kind of looked as if he lost a step. I’m rooting for him just as much as anyone, just wondering if he’s got the longevity.

    • Michael Rodney
      May 9, 2017 at 4:25 pm

      I noticed the same thing. He didn’t look quite as fast last season, but he ran in the 4.4s before the draft.

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