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What You Need to Know:
-2020 saw Hill’s most extensive time at QB to date. He went 88 of 121 for 928 yards, 4 TDs and 2 INTs (16 games). He rushed 87 times for 457 yards and 8 scores.
-6 of 8 rushing TDs came inside the 5 yard-line.
-Hill was conservative with a 7.3-yard average depth of target.
-That — and a QB-friendly scheme under HC Sean Payton — helped him rank #1 league-wide in adjusted completion rate (82.6%) among 41 QBs with 150+ dropbacks.
-In 4 starts in place of Drew Brees, Hill finished as the QB5 (vs. Atlanta), QB14 (at Denver), QB8 (at Atlanta) and QB10 (at Philadelphia). A favorable slate for sure.
-The small sample turned up inconsistent volume, as we’d expect: 23, 16, 37 and 38 pass attempts.
-While Michael Thomas endured an injury-plagued 2020, he did suit up for each of Hill’s starts.
-The Saints signed the hot/cold Jameis Winston as a low-cost backup last offseason. But interestingly, Hill started each of Brees’ absences.
-The Saints re-signed Winston to a 1-year deal worth $5.5 million this offseason. NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport has called Winston the favorite to start.
-HC Sean Payton, predictably, has indicated that both guys will compete for the job in training camp.
-Consider this: Prior to this offseason, Hill’s offseason training centered around playing a number of different positions beyond QB (special teams, RB, WR.) Now he’s 100% focused on the starting QB job. Essentially, there might be another level to his game.
-The Saints return a healthy Michael Thomas and Alvin Kamra this fall — plus a breakout candidate in 2nd-year TE Adam Trautman. But the pass catching depth looks thin, especially at WR.
-Led by guys like Ryan Ramczyk, Terron Armstead and Andrus Peat, New Orleans’ O-line remains a strength. They’ll look for improvement from 2020 weak link G Cesar Ruiz, last year’s 1st rounder.
Draft Sharks Bottom Line:
Hill’s legs helped make him a strong fantasy streamer across 4 starts last season. Now, he’ll enter a training camp battle with Jameis Winston, who boasts superior arm talent and arm strength.
Even when it comes to Winston’s downfall — turnovers — Hill didn’t show much of an edge last year. He tossed 2 picks and fumbled 10 times.
We see this competition lasting until deep in training camp, with Winston ultimately being named the Week 1 starter. Such a move would keep Hill in his part-time role.