Devonta Freeman may be gone, but the Falcons still have Brian Hill. And of course, yes, Todd Gurley. But this article isn’t to shine more light on Gurley even if he does deserve it. It’s to remind the Falcons community that “B” Hill is still an option.
Now, the Falcons did place Brian Hill on an original round tender a day after cutting Freeman.
What’s that mean?
It means that Hill, who was a fifth-round draft pick for the Falcons in 2017 has an opportunity to be signed by another team. If he is then the Falcons will receive a fifth-round pick as compensation. They have the option to match any team’s offer on Hill.
Falcons backup QB Kurt Benkert has high hopes for Hill this season.
“I was talking to him about someone today, Benkert told Heavy.com. He’s just a workhorse. He has the same speed every day whether it’s a practice or a game. You can count on him to take the ball to the house.”
After Freeman’s primary backup, Ito Smith was out due to a neck and concussion injury last season, Hill stepped in.
Hill, 24, rushed 78 times for 323 yards and touchdowns last season. He caught 10 passes for 69 yards and one touchdown during the 2019 season.
He made his big impression against with a 26-9 win over the New Orleans Saints. Freeman suffered a foot injury in the first half of the game and was out for the rest. That’s when Hill stepped in.
The Falcons were looking to improve their run game and attack the Saint’s run defense, who were in the top-five at the time giving up an average of 84.3 yards per game. Atlanta finished with 143 rushing yards. 61 yards were from Hill.
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Hill has had quite the NFL journey of ups and downs but it’s actually been in his favor. And he is fairly confident in his own run game potential.
“Once I get to open up, I like my chances,” Hill told AtlantaFalcons.com.
The Falcons drafted and then he was waived by them and re-signed to the practice squad where he stayed for about a month before the Bengals pick him up.
He spent a year with the Bengals and then the Falcons re-signed him to the practice squad in 2018. He went active a week later and the Falcons allowed him to make a name for himself that season.
By the end of the 2018 season, Hill played in 10 games and rushed for 157 yards on 20 carries.
Before the 2019 season started, Hill had said his experience being cut more than once was “definitely humbling” for him.
Hill has become someone the Falcons can trust, but his inconsistency is what leaves coach Dan Quinn and general manager Thomas Dimitroff on the edge.
With the Todd Gurley addition to the roster, the Falcons have an exciting offense. But Gurley’s knee is still in question as to how well he will perform and how many games the Falcons will be able to use him for. The running back depth chart will need to be solid, but Hill has the ability to play a major role as the next man up.