revolutionary tools.  groundbreaking articles.  proven results.

2017 NFL Draft Reaction: Brian Hill Goes to the Atlanta Falcons

Brian Hill was drafted 156 overall by the Atlanta Falcons. His arrival adds depth to a Falcons offense that already features two highly-productive running backs. One of our favorite players pre-draft, Hill is likely to be buried on the depth chart during his first season.

We’ll get to more of that in a minute. But first, we take a comprehensive look at your new Atlanta Falcons RB, Brian Hill.

Brian Hill, Wyoming, 6-1, 219

Prospect Lab Data

Brian Hill Lab

From Shawn Siegele’s RB Prospect Lab series, Hill earns a score of 66 out of a possible 100 ranking and a seventh-place finish in the class. Hill was the 11th-ranked RB in the RSI rankings and 7th in the RotoViz Staff Rankings. In penning Why You Shouldn’t Trade Your 3rd Round Rookie Pick, I presented his comparable players as Marshawn Lynch, Maurice Jones-DrewRudi Johnson, Knowshon Moreno, and Giovani Bernard.1

Raw Production and Advanced Stats

NameGamesruYDSruTDSYPCRECSreYDSWorkhorseSuccess Model
Brian Hill141860225.386786.24 (2nd of 36)0.1 (11th of 28)

Workhorse score accounts for non-QB rushing yards in qualifying games and Hill was among the standouts in this metric, finishing second in the class. From Blair Andrews’ 2017 Workhorse Scores review:

Brian Hill is one of the more intriguing prospects in the class. He rushed for more than 1,800 yards and 21 touchdowns in 13 meaningful games this past season. Jordan Hoover noted that Hill was just as much a workhorse as the more highly touted prospects Dalvin Cook and Christian McCaffrey based on his rushing market shares. In fact, Hill’s Workhorse Score is quite a bit higher than either Cook’s or McCaffrey’s.

Hill failed to stand out in Kevin Cole’s success model, scoring a 0.1. This can likely be tied to his limited usage in the passing game and sub-optimal 40 time.

Brian Hill

Hill’s list of similar prospects fails to inspire confidence, with one exception: Jordan Howard. The list primarily features two-down backs that served as backups in the NFL. The removal of draft position adds more inspiring comparisons, including Melvin Gordon and Adrian Peterson, but his draft stock strongly suggests that he’s facing an uphill climb to success.

Player Outlook

This is a non-ideal landing spot for one of the better workhorse RBs in the class. Buried behind Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman, Hill is unlikely to see significant carries during his first season. Freeman is a free agent after the 2017 season and Coleman after the 2018 season. If either leaves the team, Hill will have an opportunity to earn a more defined role.

Worst case scenario, at least Hill will have good seats to watch a fun offense.


Being a low draft pick isn’t ideal for a prospect, but there are plenty of RBs who climbed from the late rounds and even undrafted free agents who had an impact for fantasy. In the short term, Hill faces a steep climb to playing time. He will need to find a defined role behind Freeman and Coleman. For 2017, Hill lacks redraft value, but could find himself as a midseason waiver pick up if injuries occur, and he’s likely undraftable in MFL10s. In rookie drafts, Hill remains a late-round flier or post-draft waiver claim. While this is down from his earlier projected ADP, he still remains an interesting prospect, but the impact is unlikely to be felt immediately.

Additional Research

Running Backs – The RB Success Model – Using age, production, and combine measurables, Cole builds on earlier regression tree analysis to build a model that predicts success within the first three years of a player’s NFL career. Odds of success are given for 28 RBs from the 2017 NFL draft class, along with commentary on the more prominent names.

See For Yourself



  1. Then the draft happened.  (back)

recent and related...

in case you missed it...

Quick Hits – Dare Ogunbowale, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Maybe you’re a longstanding Ronald Jones truther. Perhaps you love the fact that Peyton Barber had a top-10 opportunity share among all NFL RBs last season and delivered only 9.4 fantasy points per game. If you are, or even if you’re not1 then it’s hard to get really excited about the

Read More

Why Buy Tarik Cohen When This RB is Cheaper?

“You pay for this, but they give you that.” That classic Neil Young lyric came to mind as I was researching this year’s “Why Buy?” series. We’re often so confident of what we’re going to get when we spend that sixth-round pick on the next big thing, but in reality,

Read More

Sign-up today for our free Premium Email subscription!

© 2019 RotoViz. All rights Reserved.