B.J. Hill
(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)

New York Giants rookie defensive tackle B.J. Hill is very quietly stepping into a role as a starter for this current defense. 

When looking at a specific team’s draft picks, everyone looks toward the first and second guys chosen, maybe even the third. However, B.J. Hill was the fourth player selected to the New York Giants. A third-round defensive tackle out of N.C. State, Hill knew that not many would know his name when he entered the NFL. Now, he’s making huge strides in his new, blue practice uniform.

With a new 3-4 defensive scheme in place for the Giants, led by defensive coordinator James Bettcher, Hill sees himself working as part of a unit. Throughout training camp, the more common defensive front includes Hill, Damon Harrison, and Dalvin Tomlinson.

“One thing he really does well for a young guy is plays well with his hands at the line of scrimmage,” Bettcher said to Tom Rock of Newsday. “He’s done well with that. We’ve moved him around in the line too, you’ve seen him lining up as a nose, as a three technique, as a five technique, a guy that’ll have some position flexibility for us.”

Performing alongside an All-Pro defensive lineman in Harrison is also a major plus for Hill. However, it’s Harrison that’s giving his praise for the most part. “I don’t know if you guys have been watching (in training camp), but he’s probably the most athletic defensive lineman that we have,” Harrison said of Hill. “He can do a little bit of everything, which is encouraging to see.”

In his four years at NC State, Hill racked up 183 tackles, along with eight sacks and two forced fumbles. He’ll be able to showcase his talents in an NFL game for the first time this week. The Giants open up their preseason schedule this Thursday night against the Cleveland Browns.

Ryan Honey is a staff writer and host of the Wide Right Podcast.