By Gus Martin
The Baltimore Ravens selected running back Justice Hill out of Oklahoma State in the fourth round of the 2019 NFL Draft. He rushed for 3,539 yards and 30 touchdowns for the Cowboys from 2016-2018. Here are five things to know about the rookie as he navigates his first NFL training camp:
1. He was the fastest running back at the 2019 NFL Scouting Combine, by a lot.
The 5-foot-10 Hill had to show scouts he could excel at the professional level through his athleticism. He did just that, leading all running backs with a 4.40 in the 40-yard dash, 0.5 seconds less than the next fastest prospect, while also ranking first in the vertical jump (40 inches) and tied for the best broad jump (10-foot-10). Look for him to be a speedy change-of-pace back to catch defenses off guard after dealing with bruisers Mark Ingram and Gus Edwards.
2. He’s gained more than 30 pounds since his freshman year of college.
Hill was considered a small back by NFL standards throughout his three years at Oklahoma State, but the 21-year-old speedster has worked hard to put on the size to play at the next level. He came into his freshman season listed at 171 pounds, but he’s now listed at 200 pounds by the Ravens. That should make the Ravens comfortable about playing him in spots during his rookie year, especially given his speed.
3. Hill said he spent much of his final collegiate season working with the receivers.
Hill joined “The Lounge” podcast in June to talk about his role with the Ravens, citing the potential to be a third-down pass catcher as an aspect of the offense where he thinks he can thrive. Although he only had 13 receptions for Oklahoma State in 2018, he said he practiced primarily with the receivers all year, which should bode well for his familiarity in the passing game.
4. He had a beastly senior year in high school.
Hill was a consensus three-star back coming out of Booker T. Washington High School in Tulsa, Okla., but his numbers are more eye-popping than one would think. Hill scored 32 touchdowns while averaging 9.9 yards per carry during his senior season, earning him an Oklahoma All-State selection and 6A-II Offensive Player of the Year honors.
5. NFL Network’s “Good Morning Football,” analyst Peter Schrager identified Hill as the rookie running back he is most excited to watch in 2019.
Schrager had nothing but positive things to say about the Ravens’ new back, describing him as “an absolute fireworks show” in college and the Ravens’ new “home run hitter” out of the backfield. He said Hill has the potential to be a nice change of pace in Balimore’s run-heavy offense, whether it’s carrying or catching the ball.
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