Route Tree - Highly polished route runner who continues recent streak of high IQ Buckeyes at the position. He'll press away from leverage in order to widen throwing windows and has done well to attack both in the red zone and in the middle of the field. Uses full field and isn't limited in his tree in any way.
Hands - He's had some OBJ moments on his resume with the one handed catches. Like his hands and ability to catch away from his frame, even though he doesn't have the biggest mitts. He makes it look effortless at full speed to reach out and pluck the football away from his body.
Contested Catch - He does not have ideal levels of elevation skills, nor does he have the length or wingspan to prevent DBs from playing through his frame. If he's got a defender on his hip, odds are there's going to be a PBU. He doesn't flash dominant traits to defeat physicality, either. Thrives in space.
RAC Ability - He isn't notable with his burst or juice in the open field. He shouldn't be considered a big RAC threat, instead consider him a chain mover who will sit at the sticks, create a first down and pick up a few cheap yards. Doesn't have the twitch to force a lot of missed tackles in one on ones.
Football IQ - Knows how to get open — which is a nice start! He's deliberate and everything he does before he touches the football is with intent; allowing him to be a consistent producer and a reliable security blanket. He's been well coaches and should transition well to the pro level as a slot.
Vertical Receiving - Does not have the kind of giddy-up to really command attention down the field. If he catches a LB or heavy footed safety, sure — he'll run by you and can be a threat for a big play but generally speaking he will be best utilized in underneath spaces and finding voids in zone coverage.
COD Skills - He's more smooth than he is twitchy or explosive. Lacks the kind of lateral mobility to really spring and explode through his breaks; instead he's well balanced and offers clean footwork to not waste any motion. High end athletes should be able to mirror him.
Speed - Plays with the same 4.6 speed he put on display in Indy. Furthermore, everything seems to move at the same pace — don't really see a second gear to flip into as he needs to find room to work. As such, press coverage could be problematic to work against if consistently facing pressure in his face.
Competitive Toughness - He's not a brute and he doesn't offer dominant flashes of strength but he does run tough, he plays fearless and isn't afraid of working the middle of the field. He should be able to thrive in high traffic areas thanks to his concentration and willingness to take a big hit at the catch point.
Blocking Skills - Rock solid. He isn't a size or strength mismatch but he does provide the tenacity to help wall off. His play at OSU has promoted an enthusiasm for the dirty work — played well and stayed engaged through stretched of QB run heavy offense and passing game that had to feed a lot of mouths.
Best Trait - Route Running
Worst Trait - Explosiveness
Best Film - Penn State (2018)
Worst Film - Michigan (2019)
Red Flags - None
Summary - K.J. Hill projects as a viable depth receiver and a potential starting slot at the NFL level. Hill offers polished route running and a high football IQ, often finding soft spaces in the secondary to make himself available to his quarterback. He lacks any standout physical traits but his general toughness and polished eye for the game offer him a high floor as a depth player. Ideally Hill works into an offense that likes to space the field to maximize his route running and mitigates his lack of burst.