Jeremy Hill is Becoming a NFL Star


Dec 14, 2014; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bengals running back Jeremy Hill (32) runs on Cleveland Browns strong safety

Donte Whitner

(31) during the second quarter at FirstEnergy Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

Jeremy Hill is having quite a remarkable rookie season.  After being selected by the Bengals as their second round pick this year, it was assumed that Hill would play “second fiddle” to Giovani Bernard who, like Hill, was selected with the Bengals’ second round pick just last year.  Yet things haven’t worked out as many people expected as Hill has surpassed expectations this year.

Despite spending much of the season as a backup to Giovani Bernard, Jeremy Hill has begun to establish himself as a potential star in the NFL.  Here’s a quick look at Jeremy Hill’s stats on the year.

[table id=76 /]

Based on how many categories he leads, comparing Jeremy Hill to Dallas Cowboys star running back DeMarco Murray would provide us an interesting insight into Hill’s year.  But to make this comparison more interesting and accurate, here’s a look at the comparison based on when Jeremy Hill is the Bengals starting running back (four games this year).

[table id=77 /]

When seen in this light, Jeremy Hill is beginning to look like someone who can be an elite running back in the NFL.

But Jeremy Hill is also a solid producer as a receiver.  Again in largely a reserve role, Hill has produced 25 receptions for 205 yards (8.2 yards/rec).  Keeping with the comparison against DeMarco Murray, who is the fourth in the NFL for receptions by a running back, Murray has produced 54 receptions for 395 yards (7.3 yards/rec).  Despite having significantly less catches, Hill has proven that he’s a commodity in the passing game.

More than this, Hill has the stature and physicality to hold up well when blocking.  He will need to develop in this regard, but as he’s only a rookie, there’s much promise in Hill to develop in this third phase of the game.

The one downside to Hill has been his ball security.  It’s something Marvin Lewis highlighted during a press conference today.

"“I think he did OK. He’s got to hold onto the football more though, or he’ll find himself standing beside me more often than he wants.”"

On the year, Jeremy Hill has now fumbled four times: three times while rushing and once after a reception.  This is a troubling trend considering, again, that Jeremy Hill has spent much of the year in a reserve role.  If Hill wants to become the elite running back he looks to be becoming, then he’ll need to correct this issue.  Once more, it’s good that Hill’s young.  He has time to correct this issue.

Jeremy Hill looks to be potentially a special running back for the Bengals, the kind of running back that a team can lean on while he carries them to victory.  In three out of four starts this year, he has run for nearly or more than 150 yards (154, 152, and 148).  He’s carried the Bengals’ offense during each of these victories.

Yes, Jeremy Hill could change the Bengals fortunes for quite some time.  His presence is especially important in the cold AFC North where running the ball and defense often is the deciding factor in games.  He can help the Bengals control the football while decreasing the pressure on Andy Dalton to perform outside of his capability.  Hill’s talents will allow the defense to rest and can make the difference during games against superior quarterbacks by keeping them off the field.  And most importantly, Hill’s penchant for finding yards can help greatly in the playoffs where teams who can run the ball effectively often find great success.  Jeremy Hill could make all the difference for this team and is a budding NFL star.