Another member of the Ohio State Buckeyes has found a home in the NFL. This time, it’s defensive tackle Michael Hill, who was picked up by the Detroit Lions following the draft. The Buckeye didn’t have to wait long before the three-day even wrapped up before landing on a roster, and he’s got the experience to make the most of this opportunity.
So, why should you be excited for Lewis’ arrival in Detroit? We’ve got you covered.
1. Veteran experience
After the first few rounds of the NFL Draft, teams start looking for value picks. Combine a team need with a player’s experience, and you have a late-round pick that not only has a ton of value, but may actually be a key cog in the team’s pursuit of a Super Bowl.
Michael Hill has the potential to be that key cog. Counting the three games in his redshirted season in 2013, Hill saw action in 42 contests for the Scarlet and Gray. Of those 42 games, he had the chance to start in 15 of them. While 13 of those starts happened in 2016, they are starts nonetheless for a team that went to the College Football Playoff.
2. He holds his own
On the D-Line, you’re hoping to get someone who can fight through the offense and make a play on the ball. Over the course of his Buckeye career, Hill has evolved in his ability to seek out the ball carrier and make a tackle.
In this example, who breaks away from the lineman, and helps wrap up the running back in a red zone situation.
Ohio State could have some of the best defensive tackles in the Big Ten, if not, the country. Big fan of Michael Hill! Solid play by #86 pic.twitter.com/pKtA0CHwi5— Russell Brown (@RussNFLDraft) July 16, 2017
By the time he was done wearing the Scarlet and Gray, Hill amassed 37 career tackles and 5.5 tackles-for-loss, and a pair of sacks.
3. Recognition for work done
Getting on the field in the 2017 season came at a premium for Hill. He only played in eight games, with only one start. However, he shined in the 2016 campaign for the Buckeyes.
Statistically, that was his best season; he recorded 21 tackles and 3.0 tackles-for-loss. For his redshirt junior season, Hill picked up honorable mention All-Big Ten by both the coaches and the media.
Off the field, Hill found success, too. He graduated with a degree in sports & industry from Ohio State in December 2017.
Any concerns about Hill?
His redshirt senior season was supposed to begin where his stellar junior season ended. However, that didn’t really happen. Hill was suspended for the first six games due to a violation of team rules.
Combine the suspension with the wealth of talent OSU had on the defensive line, and you have a situation where Hill, the incumbent starter, was battling just to get on the field. He did get to play in eight games for his redshirt senior season, but only started in one of those games. From a stats perspective, last season tied a career-low for tackles: one.
He’ll have to shine in training camp for a spot on the team, but he has the experience at a top school that should help him be a viable candidate to make the main roster.