Raul Bennington

Contributing writer for The Bears Brawl and Weekly personality on The Bears Brawl Podcast.

Justice Hill has a unique blend of speed, power, balance, and toughness that isn’t often seen. He plays like a hybrid of Adrian Peterson and Jamaal Charles. With that being said, he would be an ideal fit in Nagy’s outside-zone-running scheme.

Positives
Athletic profile:
Justice Hill is a former high school track star who blew up the combine. Hill was first among  running backs in the 40 with a 4.40, first among running backs in the vertical with a 40 inch vertical, and once again,  first among running backs in the board-jump with a 130 inch leap. While combine numbers aren’t everything, it’s comforting to see a player like Hill validate what you see on tape.

How He Wins
Balance/Power:
Hill has natural balance. You never see him cross his feet and he keeps his shoulders squared and up-field. Couple that with his ridiculous lower body strength and you see why he doesn’t go down on first contact and is a nightmare in one-on-one situations. His balance also aids in his ability to redirect and turn on a dime. You rarely, if ever, see Hill go down on first contact due to his balance and his ability to keep his feet moving. His low center of gravity and strong trunk helps him power through defenders and generates a boxer-like punch when using his stiff arm.

Source: Brett Deering/Getty Images North America

Speed/Acceleration/Change of Direction:

Justice Hill has elite speed for the position evidenced by his 4.40 forty-time, but it is how he uses his speed and how he can go from stop to go that makes him truly scary. Hill is like a Porsche 911 in the way he can shift gears with little wasted motion and blow passed you in the blink of an eye. His ability to plant and accelerate to the second level of the defense and then turn on the jets, separates him from the rest of the running backs in this class.

Violence:
Hill is a violent runner who doesn’t think he should get tackled. He brings violence and punishment with every rep. He wants you to pay for having the audacity to try and tackle him. He doesn’t just want smoke, he wants all of the smoke! Eventually you see 2nd and 3rd level defenders not wanting to chase and tackle him. As the game continues, defenders’ arms get shorter and their pads get smaller.

Negative

Hill has his flaws. For starters, he is a pretty bad pass blocker. He keeps a good base in pass protection but often lunges and doesn’t keep proper technique throughout the entire process. Hill lacks patience and doesn’t always allow holes and gaps to form; he is always going 100 miles an hour. This also hampers Hills vision as a runner because he doesn’t always allow holes to form.

Source: Brett Deering/Getty Images North America

How He Fits
The Bears want to run more outside zone and want to continue the option RPO, which is a staple in Nagy’s offense. The Bears want a run game that can kill you laterally and vertically. They will use Cohen and Patterson to stretch defenses laterally with different alignments and jet motions which could leave large gaps in the 1st and 2nd levels of the defense. This will leave 1 on 1 opportunities for a RB versus a 2nd or 3rd level player. The Bears need a home run hitter who can press the outside hit a crease plant and get up-field quickly. This is Hill’s calling card, stretching the defense and leaving him one-on-one with a linebacker which ends up being an unfair match-up for the defender. His change of direction, speed, and balance would have him in the winning corner of this match up every time. Hill fits Ryan Pace’s early round draft profile to a “T”. He has the insane athletic ability that Ryan pace covets. He possesses a large amount of a trait that is an overall theme on this current Bears team…SPEED!