(Editor’s Note: With training camp just around the corner, let’s continue to meet the new faces on the Cowboys roster. Today we continue the series with defensive tackle Trysten Hill.)
How He Got Here: One of the more intriguing college programs of the past few years has been UCF, which went undefeated in 2017 and then ran through the regular season in 2018 before losing in the bowl game to LSU. Right in the middle of that defense was Hill, who had three quality seasons in the trenches, earning all-conference honors as a sophomore. While there were concerns about Hill’s character and questions of why he started just one game in 2018 when a new coaching staff arrived, the Cowboys said they had no issues in their research of Hill. When the Cowboys were on the clock in the second round, there seemed to be plenty of debate to take a safety or Hill, but ultimately the Cowboys decided to go for the more disruptive player on the line, hoping that could provide some necessary help to the secondary.
Bet You Didn’t Know: Hill initially committed to Georgia Tech as an offensive lineman before his senior season of high school. He later opened up the recruiting and signed with Virginia, before he was released from his scholarship to sign with UCF.
Quotable: “I think football is really important to him. I know it is. He’s so interested in the style of football that we play. He’s just a high-energy guy with a motor. But he’s a bigger man. You don’t see that a lot from the under-tackle position. His feet are really good for a man his size. We really love what he’s about.” -Defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli on the traits that make Hill such a promising player.
Role/Roster Chances: One of the determining factors in taking a player in the early rounds is his availability to contribute. While there are always exceptions to the rule (Jaylon Smith), usually the Cowboys have high hopes for the top picks because they can step in immediately. That is the plan for Hill, who should be a rotational player early and often, especially in passing-situations. The Cowboys have a few question marks right now at tackle, considering health of Antwaun Woods, who had shoulder surgery after the season, and the status of Tyrone Crawford for Week 1. Maliek Collins has battled injury issues but has looked great this offseason. Still, there’s always a spot for a high-motor energy player such as Hill.
Bryan Broaddus’ Take: There were only a couple of disruptive under tackles in this draft and Hill was in that mix. I think he has a very high ceiling when it comes to his ability. Defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli has a plan and vision what he can potentially be as a player, so that gives him a leg up on how to get the best out of him. There are just too many quality traits not to believe he going to have a successful career with the right coaching. But there’s a lot of pressure on Hill as a player. It doesn’t matter that he wasn’t a first round selection. Look for Hill to be thrown into the deep end of the pool to see if he can swim. There are plenty in the organization who believe he can do just that.