Prospects

Prospects
Photo of Sammie Lee Hill
Sammie Lee Hill (DT)
Height: 6'4"
Weight: 329
College: Stillman
Conference: No Conference Info
Hometown: West Blockton, AL
High School: West Blockton
Featured Prospects
Selected by: Detroit Lions
Round: 4
Pick (Overall): 15 (115)
Discuss
Pick Analysis: At the Senior Bowl, Hill left everyone talking. He's big, strong and fast. When you take a player from a small school like Stillman, there's a learning curve. Hill needed a destination where he could develop, and that's a strong suit of new Lions coach Jim Schwartz. This is a Cortland Finnegan-type pick -- a player Schwartz helped to develop at Tennessee.
  1. Overview
  2. Analysis
Overview

Hill is regarded by many to be the premier small college prospect at his position. The four-year starter lined up at left defensive end as a junior and senior, but with explosive burst penetrating the gaps and wide frame, many teams feel that he is better suited to play inside at tackle at the next level, his original college position. His ability to shut down the running game saw him produce 44.5 tackles behind the line of scrimmage during his career, setting the school career record.


Hill is much more than your typical defensive lineman, though. He served as a tight end in goal-line blocking situations, where he scored on a 16-yard reception and also on a two-point conversion. He competed as an up-back and wedge buster on special teams, as the 330-pounder was seen rumbling with his first kickoff return as a senior. He also got to drop back in coverage as a giant middle linebacker, racing 38 yards into the end zone for a touchdown with an interception as a junior.


At West Blockton High School, Hill was an All-Conference and All-Area gridiron selection. He competed on both lines, in addition to seeing time at tight end and linebacker. He saw playing time as a place-kicker. In addition to his football exploits, he also excelled on the basketball court, where he actually got more attention from those recruiters than in football.


Hill's high school coach convinced the Stillman College staff to offer him a full scholarship and the then 270-pounder enrolled at the university in 2004, red-shirting that season. He lined up at strong-side defensive tackle in 2005, posting 39 tackles (13 solos) with 3.5 sacks and six stops for losses on defense. In brief action as a tight end, he also caught one pass for a 16-yard score.


As a sophomore, Hill appeared in 10 games as an interior lineman. He collected 41 tackles (15 solos) that included a pair of sacks and three pressures. He deflected thee passes and intercepted another. He also placed third on the team with nine stops behind the line of scrimmage.


With the arrival of new head coach Greg Thompson, Hill was shifted to left defensive end in 2007. The coaching staff felt the move was necessary, as it eliminated their best defensive player from having to deal with double-team blocking inside and also allowed him to shut down one half of the field. The move certainly paid off.


After posting 15 stops for loss during his first two seasons at tackle, the All-Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference first-team selection registered 14 stops for loss, along with 4.5 sacks, to go with 52 tackles (29 solos). He also caused four fumbles and returned a pass theft 38 yards for a touchdown.


He also put his life on the line in 2007. Hill and two other Stillman players were heading back to campus when they saw flames and smoke coming from a house. A young woman was frantically trying to flag down help. When they backed up and stopped, Cassandra Webb told them that her father, Curtis Webb Sr., was inside.


Hill tells it this way: "Sure enough, there was a lady outside saying that her father needs help. All we could do was put our hands over our faces and hope that we didn't get hurt. We looked up, and, well, it was a blessing that we could grab him and protect ourselves so we all were safe. We all grabbed hold of him and carried him out of the house. It's not a situation I ever thought I would be in, but that's the way I was raised. I was happy I did it."


Hill added, "There was a lot of media and press coming around after that happened. It was OK. I felt like I didn't need all that, because I would want somebody to do the same thing for my father or mother in the same situation. God blessed us in that situation. If it was me and my parents were in that situation, I would want somebody to help me."


Hill was again an All-SIAC first-team choice in 2008. In 11 games at left defensive end, he registered a career-high 59 tackles (32 solos), as he led the team with 7.5 sacks and paced the league with 15.5 stops for loss. He also had a career-high eight pressures, including three that caused interceptions. He scored on a two-point conversion pass, deflected seven passes and recovered three fumbles.


High School

Attended West Blockton (Ala.) High School...All-Conference and All-Area pick... Competed on both lines, in addition to seeing time at tight end and linebacker...Also saw playing time as a place-kicker...Also excelled on the basketball court, where he actually got more attention from those recruiters than in football.


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Analysis

Positives: Tall with muscular overall build and long arms. ... Displays excellent agility and quickness for his size. ... Uses a punch and good hand play to discard offensive tackles at the line of scrimmage. ... Swats chipping running backs away like flies on the outside. ... Good closing speed and has the length to wrap up in the backfield. ... Flashes the initial quickness inside. ... Bull rushes his man into the pocket when one-on-one inside. ... Breaks down on the edge and changes direction well for his size. ... Could project as a 3-4 defensive end.


Negatives: Looks like a man among boys against lower level competition, especially when lined up on the edge, but must prove he can handle the next level physically. ... Fails to consistently get off double teams when inside. ... Must work on lowering his pad level so he's not stood up to lose the leverage battle against NFL offensive linemen and be susceptible to cut blocks. ... Doesn't chase or hustle consistently.


Compares To: SHAUN ROGERS, Cleveland -- Hill has the potential to be much more consistent than Rogers, but will just need time to adjust to NFL life from the low level of competition he played in. Hill flashes a burst to finish and shows effectiveness stopping the running game as a three-tech defender. He has a very strong anchor vs. the run and uses his hands well to cross over the offensive lineman's face to make the play. He generates excellent leverage to stack at the point of attack. He has the quick, strong and active hands to split double teams and his long arms allow him to consistently push the pocket.


Injury Report

No injuries reported, but did sit out the 2005 Clark-Atlanta contest and the 2007 Langston game for undisclosed reasons.


2009: Suffered a hamstring pull during East-West Shrine Game practices.


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