The Pick: Wide Receiver KJ Hill, Ohio State
For their final selection of the 2020 NFL Draft, the Los Angeles Chargers drafted wide receiver KJ Hill out of Ohio State. After being touted as a possible Day Two pick, he fell all the way to the seventh round. While only a one year starter, he broke the record for receptions by a Buckeyes receiver (201), besting former Charger free agent bust David Boston. An amazing college feat for Hill is that he tied the record for consecutive games with a reception (49)! Hill played through three separate starting quarterbacks but found a way to stay as part of the game plan. While athletically average, he shows good route running ability. Moreover, he offers experience as a punt returner.
How does he fit with the Chargers?
Behind Mike Williams and Keenan Allen, KJ Hill will be competing with Joe Reed, Andre Patton and Jason Moore for snaps at wide receiver. Hill is another receiver who caught a lot of passes underneath with quickness. Quarterback Justin Herbert may rely on getting the ball quickly into the hands of Austin Ekeler, Hill and Reed this coming season as he adjusts to the NFL game. The FPC Chargers Draft Guide suggested that the Chargers may take two late round wide receivers based on their visits and they followed through. He will have a leg up on the competition to make the roster considering the value he can provide at punt returner, a position where incumbent returner Dez King struggled last year at times. KJ Hill offers adequate depth with upside at slot receiver that should fit well with Herbert for the next few years.
As a “last thought,” Ohio State Assistant Athletic Director Mark Pantoni had this to say about KJ Hill:
My last thought –
I watched @KayJayHill go up against 1st round CBs for the past 5 years everyday in practice.
There was no issue with his “lack of speed” getting open against them.
He will be playing in the NFL for years.
— Mark Pantoni (@markpantoni) April 25, 2020