Our 2017 roster review will reexamine the Lions’ roster and how it played out last season. We’ll take a look at expectations, performance and potential role in the future.
Today, we continue our discussion with Detroit Lions defensive tackle Jordan Hill.
Expectations before 2017
Hill was brought in, along with Cornelius Washington and Akeem Spence, to help bolster a defensive line that struggled in 2016. Hill had skills that no one else on the roster really had: an ability to pass rush from the interior of the line.
While Hill wasn’t expected to be a starter in 2017, he was certainly expected to play a pivotal role in Detroit’s rotation among the defensive line.
Actual role in 2017
2017 stats: 0 games
PFF Grade: N/A (43.6 in 2016)
In the Lions’ third preseason game against the New England Patriots, Hill suffered a torn bicep and was placed on the injured reserve list shortly thereafter. His spot was essentially replaced by sixth-round rookie Jeremiah Ledbetter for the entire season.
This was nothing new for Hill. As pointed out by Field Gulls, his career had been a disappointment, not because of his talent, but because he simply couldn’t stay healthy enough. Since drafted in 2013, Hill has only appeared in 31 games in five seasons.
Outlook for 2018
Contract status: Unrestricted free agent
A year has gone by, and the Lions find themselves in the same predicament they were in before. They’re in drastic need of a defensive line overhaul, and they specifically could use a pass-rushing threat from the inside.
We never got to see what Hill could offer the Lions, but at this point you have to wonder if we ever will. The Lions signed him to a cheap one-year, $855,000 contract last offseason, so it’s not like Hill’s injury cost them much of anything financially.
So is it worth it to give him one more shot? Well, there are several things to consider. Hill will be 27 years old by next season. He has also played in just 42 defensive snaps over the past two seasons. Even if Hill still has the basic athletic skills to turn his career around, you have to wonder about the toll the injuries have done to him. Throughout his short NFL career, he has missed time due to bicep, calf, toe, ankle and quad injuries.
Those kind of injuries add up, and for that reason, it would make sense for the Lions to just call this a failed one-year experiment and move on.
Should the Lions give Jordan Hill another shot?
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