Falcons running back Brian Hill is used to it by now. He knows what it feels like to be overlooked. His draft stock never took off notwithstanding ridiculous production in college. Then he was cut at the end of his first training camp in 2017. And yet he continues to make himself relevant. He continues to draw the attention of the front office and coaching staff. The fans? Eh, they’re another thing entirely.
Last weekend, just like every weekend, I saw some interesting ideas floated on Twitter. Usually when I see a bad idea on Twitter, I’m inclined to ignore it. Because I’ve been on the Brian Hill bandwagon since the Falcons drafted him, I wasn’t inclined to let this one go.
Here’s the bottom line: trading Brian Hill is not a good idea. It’s an idea, but Crystal Pepsi was an idea once, too.
I get the logic. The Falcons are likely to carry five running backs in week one, which seems excessive given the intrinsic limitations of a 53 man roster. What’s more, it’s fair to wonder how many touches Brian Hill can realistically get with both Devonta Freeman and Ito Smith working ahead of him on the depth chart and Qadree Ollison nipping at his heels. But this is the NFL, where nothing is predictable and you are relatively deep at one position and then, in an instant, you aren’t.
Have we forgotten that Devonta Freeman isn’t Iron Man? I love Free, and I fully expect him to have a fantastic year in 2019, but the reality is that he suffered significant injuries in 2017 and 2018. If that happens again, Hill isn’t a bad guy to have around.
And what do the Falcons stand to gain from trading Hill? Let’s be honest, he hasn’t established himself as some sort of fantasy football stalwart over his two-year career. No matter how much potential he has, we’re still talking about a guy that’s never scored a touchdown in a regular season game. We’re still talking about a guy with 194 career rushing yards. There’s a good possibility my fiery defense of Hill is all for naught. He isn’t going to get the Falcons anything more than a late-round pick, and it’d take a slap-happy, desperate general manager to make that happen.
So is that minimal value worth trading away what appears to be quality depth, particularly at one of the most injury-prone positions in football? I don’t think it is, and I hope you don’t either.