The offseason started off quietly for second-year tight end Josh Hill, but one couldn’t tell from his incredible performance in the New Orleans Saints‘ first preseason game. The former undrafted free agent caught two passes for 67 yards, including the longest play from scrimmage (a 46-yard pass from Ryan Griffin).
Hill has shown some flashes of brilliance during his rookie season and this offseason thus far, and when you combine that with being under the tutelage of Benjamin Watson and Jimmy Graham, he is set up to have a fruitful career. If he keeps playing at a high level, he should get plenty of opportunities to put up numbers sooner rather than later.
As a rookie, Hill played in 14 games with three starts. He racked up six receptions for 44 yards and a touchdown, which won’t blow anyone away, but he was sitting behind two very talented veterans. He’s taken advantages of the few opportunities he’s gotten so far, and one has to think that he will continue to make an impact whenever he’s on the field.
With Graham still in excellent condition, it’s doubtful that Hill will have his break out season very soon, but once Watson retires, he could start to make a bit more noise. Plus, if Hill develops, it gives the Saints an excellent bargaining chip in any future contract negotiations with Graham. Hill is going to be hungry sitting on that bench, and he’ll be ready to go whenever he’s needed. For right now, at the very least he will make fans feel a little better if one of their veteran tight ends goes down.