Many fans clamored for the New York Giants to draft a defensive lineman from North Carolina State in last month’s NFL Draft. They got their wish, albeit in the third round, taking B.J. Hill, a defensive tackle.
Hill joins a relatively crowded spot on the depth chart, a group that already includes arguably the best run-stopper in the league in Damon Harrison and last season’s second round pick Dalvin Tomlinson. Hill though, taking the field for some extended exposure in this weekend’s rookie minicamp, is looking forward to joining his new veteran teammates in James Bettcher’s new defense.
“It’s been great just coming here and competing with some guys, just learning the defense and doing my job,” Hill said of rookie minicamp. “It’s not hard because I have been kind of doing the same thing, same defense I had in college, so it’s not bad at all.”
Hill has yet to speak with any of his new linemates, but added to the group’s list of accolades, expressing a desire to learn from the fearsome Harrison.
“He’s one of the best run-stoppers in the league, and I take pride in stopping the run, too. I want to learn from him,” Hill said. “I’m ready to get started with (my veteran teammates), get to know them and learn from them.”
Though listed as a defensive tackle and playing the position almost exclusively in Raleigh, Hill made a point to highlight his versatility and willingness to adapt and move across the line.
“I’m an athlete. I can play anywhere on the line if they need me to play 1, 0, 3 (technique). I can play it all,” he said. “It’s not hard because I have been kind of doing the same thing, same defense I had in college, so it’s not bad at all.”
Despite the relatively tame nature of rookie minicamp, with veterans still preparing on their own, Hill expressed his excitement to be back on the field in a competition setting.
“It’s been fun, just learning a new defense with a new D-line coach. It’s been fun picking it up and playing fast,” he said. “It felt great today being back on the field. You don’t have to worry about the 40, the shuttle and all that stuff. You are actually putting your hand in the dirt, attacking people and doing your job, playing football, finally. It felt wonderful.”
During the practices, Hill revealed he mostly played the three and one-techniques, lining up as a nose tackle in some set. He expressed slight disappointment that contact would be limited throughout the weekend, but still entered East Rutherford with some realistic goals.
“(I want to show) that (I) can pick up the playbook quick, play with technique, use (my) hands well and effort is a big thing, too,” he said.
(Photo courtesy of North Carolina State Athletics)