The Atlanta Falcons were thinking ahead to the 2019 season before the 2017 NFL Draft. They saw the writing on the wall: it’d be difficult to retain the services of both Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman beyond the 2018 season. So what did they do? They went out and drafted a prolific but somewhat under the radar running back in the fifth round.
I was admittedly pretty fond of the pick. I even defended the pick in September, after Brian Hill basically disappeared during the preseason. Then shortly after the Falcons cut Hill and signed him to their practice squad, the Cincinnati Bengals swooped in and stole him away. He had less than 40 rushing yards on 11 rushing attempts (over six games) for the Bengals. Rookie status aside, we expected more. We scratched our heads wondering how the front office could’ve whiffed so hard on this pick. But alas, it appears he was dealing with a fairly serious hand injury all season.
Surgery was a success! Thanks to everyone that had me in their thoughts and prayers. Wish I could’ve found out about the injury in college but ♂️... The NFL was fun with 1 hand. Can’t wait to go thru a season when I can use both!— Brian Hill (@Heezy2Liv5) January 24, 2018
This raises questions in my mind. How did this injury go unnoticed, both before and after the draft? We all knew about the ankle injury he suffered during the preseason, but the hand injury was never mentioned. Maybe Hill’s NFL career never takes off. But if it does, we’re going to regret the Falcons not handling his situation differently.