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Jeremy Hill May Be the No. 1 Rookie in 2014


Saul Goodman: If you’re committed enough, you can make any story work. I once told a woman I was Kevin Costner and it worked because I believed it.

I believe in Jeremy Hill. If you’re a proponent of The Secret or a certain very specific type of multiverse theory, that may be enough. If you’re a Hill fan but more of a rational skeptic at heart, the following was very good news.


With word that Jeremy Hill appears to have already passed Benjarvus Green-Ellis on the depth chart, he becomes the clear cut No. 2 rookie runner. In fact, he’s now in play with (potential superstar) Bishop Sankey at No. 3 overall in rookie drafts and immediately slots in as a mid-round redraft target as well.

Recently the Intersect looked at 10 guys who didn’t receive enough credit in the RotoViz Composite Rookie Rankings, but my pick would be Hill. The LSU product came in at No. 11 overall, but I had Hill at No. 6, a ranking which is probably itself too low. I was joined by Max Mulitz who was all over this immediately after the draft. He pointed out how Gio Bernard probably isn’t a threat for a true bell cow workload while the Law Firm would quickly be searching for the self-destruct button on the Enterprise.1

Earlier this offseason, I asked whether Jeremy Hill is better than Carlos Hyde, and the answer was pretty definitive. Hill is younger, more explosive, and better in short yardage. He owns a better RotoViz projection. He then landed in a far better situation, yet Hyde continues to go earlier in rookie drafts.

Last week I had a blast drafting rookies with the PFF Dynasty crew, and Hill went after Sankey, Hyde, Devonta Freeman, Terrance West, and Tre Mason. This is probably qualifies as a head-scratcher when you consider Freeman lacks traits that translate to the NFL, West has to battle Ben Tate and Isaiah Crowell to earn snaps,2 and Mason is buried behind the far more talented Zac Stacy. Hill was drafted at 2.12, and, to be sure, I contributed to his slide by passing on him four separate times.3

I understand some drafters are taking a longer view and don’t particularly care that Hill is in a better situation as a rookie, but the importance of time value and trade value is frequently overlooked in crafting dynasty powerhouses. If you want to buy future upside, just wait and select the vastly underrated Tyler Gaffney or try one of five guys who could be the next Priest Holmes. If you want value in 2014, target Hill.

How much value could he have?



We’ll look more closely at the Cincinnati offense later, but here’s some quick optimism on Hue Jackson. In 2010 he coordinated a Jason Campbell-led offense to the 6th most points in the NFL. Darren McFadden and Michael Bush both saw 150-plus carries and the full stable of Raiders running backs combined for 90 receptions. When you consider that Andy Dalton is better than you think because he’s adept at neutralizing pressure, this offense could be a true juggernaut. Contrast that with Ken Whisenhunt’s QB-challenged Cardinals offenses4 and you could easily be forgiven for actually preferring Hill to Sankey.

  1. Max was adamant this piece should include a hack-y. Law Firm is out of practice joke, and I’ve tried to oblige with an implied Better Call Saul reference here.  (back)
  2. and to earn snaps in an offense where Johnny Manziel will have to prove himself one of the best prospects ever just to pick up first downs  (back)
  3. Even though wide receiver was already my strongest position, I found myself following this strategy.  (back)
  4. Tennessee appears to have drafted a backup right tackle with Manziel on the board; so, more Jake Locker  (back)

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