Showdown Spotlight RB: Brian Hill vs Marlon Mack

This is the first one I have done so far where neither of the players will be picked in the first 32 picks of the draft. While I am a massive Brian Hill fan and will be the first to tell you who ever gets him late will find a nice steal, he is still not a first round pick. Marlon Mack has been gaining some steam the last couple of weeks out of the University of South Florida. He has some lightning quick moves and raw talent that is easy to see with the naked eye.

The major question still remains for both of these players. Are they good, or were they just the most talented player(s) on the field every game?

That is what we will find out while comparing the two, so you can figure out which one your team should go for this RB loaded draft.

bh2Brian Hill from Wyoming was easily one of the best backs production wise last year coming in 3rd for rushing yards with 1860, 4th in rushing TD`s with 22 and was tied for first in carries with 349. Which comes out to a very solid 5.3 yards per carry having that many carries. This was by far his most productive year in college with almost 4x as many TD`s as his previous best and 400 more yards. His career from scrimmage yards over 3-years is 4690 with 35 TD. Brian still managed to maintain an 5.5 yards per rush average. His best game this year trumps many Rb`s best game by a good margin with 29 carries, 289 rush yards, 3 rush TD and one catch for 13 yards against Nevada.

That game started a string of 6-straight 100+ yard rushing games and a total of 13 Td`s and 953 rush yards in those 6 games.

Brian Hill is also one of the best pass blocking backs I have seen this draft who is also a straight-up #1 running back. While he does not posses the rout tree ability of Marlon Mack or the moves, he is a much better between the tackles runner. Brian Hill is a one cut guy puts his foot down and bursts through the hole. If he does run a 4.57 at the combine that wont be surprising as he never looked to have elite speed on any of his tape. But, he does have a great ability to break tackles, pick the correct hole and a nose for the first down. He wont sprint out for a ton of 45+ yard runs at the next level, but he will get those hard earned yards and create yards when there does not look to be a hole. Still has a solid shot to be a starting running back at the next level, but will need some sort of spell with a bit more speed.

 

Brian Hill                                        Marlon Mack
Height: 6 feet 1 inches                    Height: 6 feet 0 inches
Weight:219 lbs                                  Weight: 205 lbs
Est. 40-yard-dash: 4.57                Est. 40-yard-dash: 4.54
Rush Tds: 35                                      Rush TDs: 32
Carries : 775                                       Carries: 586
Yards: 4287 rushing, 403 rec               Yards: 3609 rushing, 498 rec 1 rec TD
Yards per rush avg: 5.5                 Yards per rush avg: 6.2
KR/PR Yards: None                          KR/PR Yards: None
Best game: 2016- W 23 car, 281 rush yrds 12.2 yards per car 2 rush TD, 3 rec 106 yards.   Best game: 2016- W 24 car, 275 yards, 4 TD, 11.5 yards per car
Games played: 37                                 Games played: 38

 

The showdown went well for Brian Hill coming away the winner taking all but 2 categories which were games played and yards per rush. I will call the 40-yard even, since these are estimations and either one could run maybe .1-2 slower or faster only the combine and pro-days will tell.

Mack has played more quality opponents consistently vs Hill seeing some action vs the ACC, Navy, Wisconsin, and South Carolina.

Interesting to note that Macks first game was his best game. Mack has some amazing stop-and-miss stuff, with solid plant foot and a good route tree. He is not a great run blocker and has issues between the tackles, which should not really be the case with his size. However, with his ability to jump cut or stick his foot hard and make someone miss he will be able to be patient enough to find the open slot, or create his own yards. He can be a solid weapon out of the backfield, and I think if he can get more snaps out of a pro-style not pistol or shotgun hismm1 quick burst will help his between the tackles running. While he posses some great skills, I question if his issues in pass blocking, between the tackles, and his want to make guys miss vs hitting them will allow him to maintain a starting role. On some runs it looked almost as if he was afraid of contact, similar to Reggie Bush when he first came in the league. He was looking to bounce out side or stop and change direction rather than run through the hole and try to break a tackle.

He has the agility, speed and vision to start but he needs to work on several other things to keep that role locked down.

Mack could easily end up going higher than Hill, if Hill runs in the 4.6`s at the combine and has a slow shuttle drill and Mack can harness his speed and his advanced agility for his size. That is one thing that separates them they are two different styles of running back, where as Hill is more between the tackles, driving with his legs and getting yards after contact. Mack is more of the bounce out side, create space and make guys miss in the open field type of back. Mack would find him self super useful in an dual-back set similar to Atlanta or in a West Coast style offense. Hill is much more suited for a down hill get the ball 25 times a game running team where he can get the hard earned yards up the middle and wear down the defense until the 4th and then just run all over them.

Both I think will need some time in a split back role before they can get to the starting levels, due to one reason or another.

If Hill slims down I think he can get that agility that makes me question if he can be a long term starter, his pass protection and ability on the goal line though might thrust him into that role. If Mack can gain a bit of weight and create a down hill first focus, his lack of pass protection wont be an issue considering his advanced route tree would make him a dual-threat RB similar to Tevin Coleman and David Johnson. Both of these guys will end up between the 2nd and 3rd rounds because their current abilities will translate well if they can fix the small stuff and with the talented RB class we have this year if they show up very well at the combine vs guys like Cook, Fournette, Kamara, and McCaffrey they could see some higher grades for teams needing an specific running back.

Brian Hill comparison: Doug Martin
Draft projection: 2nd round, highest 38th to the Jets, Lowest 96th to the Patriots
Best fit: Patriots, Ravens, Jets, Texans, and Broncos

Marlon Mack comparison: Reggie Bush (remember he was not nearly as effective in the NFL as in college.)
Draft projection: mid-3rd-round, highest 72th to the Panthers, Lowest 111th to the Vikings
Best fit: Panthers, Vikings, Eagles, Colts and Raiders

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