When your defense surrenders 273 yards rushing, ending your postseason run - that tends to leave a mark. And after years of looking for cheap resources at defensive tackle, the Cowboys decided enough was enough and decided it was time to get a monster in the middle. And that’s exactly what they got with Central Florida’s Trysten Hill.
The 2019 draft features a ridiculously deep class of defensive tackles and the Cowboys were able to land one of the last remaining stud 3-tech’s on the board. At 6’3”, 308 pounds, Hill carries with him not only a lot of size, but also a lot athleticism. He has great first-step explosiveness and nice pass rushing traits the team loves in a 3-tech defensive tackle. He plays with violence and shoots the gap with the best of them. With strong hands and great footwork, Hill can flat out move. While he offers a great presence to get after the quarterback, he is also a good run defender. He has a never-give-up motor and can be seen chasing down ball carriers when it looks like he has no business even being in the play.
The talent is there and this is a high upside pick, but Hill comes with some concerns. He had issues with the coaching staff that cost him his starting role his final season. This would be a reason for pause, but the Cowboys spent so much time with him so they have a great feel for what they’re getting as a person. Of course there are whispers that the coaching staff did him wrong at times.
UCF's misusage of Trysten Hill is one of the worst things I've seen while studying 2018 tape. Best player becomes a backup, THEN balls out in the conf. champ game and you STILL don't start him.— Matt Miller (@nfldraftscout) April 11, 2019
Just amazing by Josh Heupel and Co.
Fundamentally, Hill has a few warts. He plays with a little reckless abandon at times. He’ll over-pursue and doesn’t always have plan of attack. His lack of purpose can run himself out of plays at times. He’ll give way a little in leverage and doesn’t possess enough power to anchor down. Hill will pop up sometimes, compromising his pad level. If he’s not disciplined, he will be susceptible to getting washed out by double teams.
Our own Connor Livesay provided his scouting report a couple weeks ago.
In a day [and] age where teams are looking for their interior defensive lineman to live in the backfield, Trysten Hill is a perfect mold for that role. Hill is one of the more explosive defensive linemen in this years draft class holding the best vertical, best 20-yard shuttle, and second best broad-jump, and for 300lb + defensive lineman at the combine. Would fit perfectly in Rod Marinelli’s defense as a one-gapping 3-technique. Reminds a bit of Maliek Collins when coming out of Nebraska, but athletic traits gives Hill a higher ceiling as a pass rusher. Athleticism, upfield penetrating skills, and pass rush ability are never questioned with Hill, but his consistency as a run defender, pad level, lack of instincts, and character concerns may force him down the board a few rounds later than his tape would suggest.
This move helps the Cowboys financially as well as they have three defensive tackles playing on the last year of their contract - Maliek Collins, Antwaun Woods, and recently acquired Christian Covington. Now, they’ll have a fresh new defensive tackle on a cheap rookie deal.
What do you think of the Trysten Hill pick?