November 24, 2012; University Park, PA, USA; Penn State Nittany Lions defensive tackle Jordan Hill (47) looks on prior to the game against the Wisconsin Badgers at Beaver Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

NFL Draft Preview - Penn State DT Jordan Hill

Victory Bell Rings starts its 2013 NFL Draft Projections with defensive lineman Jordan Hill. Hill started every game in 2012, registering 64 tackles (8.5 for a loss), 4.5 sacks, and one interception as a co-defensive captain for the Nittany Lions. Forced into action as a true freshman in 2009, Hill learned the ropes from current NFL lineman Jared Odrick and Devon Still and finished first team All-B1G in 2012.. Last season he was, along with fellow draft hopefuls Mike Mauti and Gerald Hodges, a leader on and off the field helping the team recover from the NCAA sanctions and after an 0-2 start. Hill held a formal interview with the St. Louis Rams during the NFL combine, and had several meetings with the Denver Broncos during the Senior Bowl.

While any Penn Stater can tell you all about his leadership qualities and other intangibles, his actual measurables don’t make Hill a desirable pick in the early rounds. The 6’1″ Hill, from Steelton, PA, is reported to weigh anywhere from 292 to 303 pounds; both measurements make him undersized at the position. Hill’s strengths lie with his quickness and agility. Although his 40 yard dash time was a disappointing 5.17, scouts were impressed with his 10 yard dash time of 1.78 seconds. With that acceleration and his excellent footwork, Hill is able to get upfield quickly after the snap. However, he lacks the strength needed to be an impact player if he can’t get the first step.

In addition to his size concerns, there are whispers about the his health as well. Hill sprained his right knee against Purdue in early November but toughed it out and played the reason of the year. In the season finale against Wisconsin, it was the left knee that bothered Hill and resulted in arthroscopic surgery a week later. That left knee swelled up during the combine and Hill admitted that he wasn’t yet at 100%. While neither injuries are considered serious, when combined with his lack of size it has raised concerns over his durability to stay on the field.

Most scouts have him ranked in the top 20 at his position, and Hill should be drafted in the middle rounds. Any team that drafts Hill is most likely getting a rotational player, but don’t write him off just yet. Hill was only a 2-star recruit out of high school and used his work ethic and on-the-field motor to earn his place on a NFL roster. There is no doubt in anyone who watched him over the past four years he could continue to prove the experts wrong at the next level. I’m looking forward to seeing Jordan Hill playing on Sunday for many years.

CBS Sports – Position rank: 13 – Overall Rank: 149 – Projected Round: 4-5

ESPN – Position rank: 12 – Overall Rank: 118 – Projected Round: 4

Optimum Scouting - Position rank: 17 – Projected Round: 6

RotoWorld – Overall Rank: 89

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