NFL Draft: Wyoming’s Brian Hill waiting for new favorite NFL team

Brian Hill is a free agent when it comes to his NFL fandom.

The Wyoming running back grew up as a Rams fan near St. Louis. Now that the Rams are in Los Angeles, Hill is in the market for a new team.

“I’m in a position to get drafted by one, so whichever one drafts me will be my new favorite team,” Hill told me as he prepares for next week’s NFL Draft.

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Brian Hill

Hill loves to play video games and his best game is Madden. His go-to team while playing Madden? The Derek Carr-led Raiders, who could use a running back.

Hill, who is from Belleville, Ill., left Wyoming after a junior season that saw him rush for 1,860 yards and 22 touchdowns last year in the Cowboys’ pro-style system. That was after rushing for 1,631 yards and six scores as a sophomore. He finished his three-year career in Laramie with 4,287 yards and 35 scores.

The 6-1, 219-pound power back decided to come out early despite a deep running back class that includes LSU’s Leonard Fournette, Stanford’s Christian McCaffrey, Florida State’s Dalvin Cook and the Oklahoma duo of Joe Mixon and Semaje Perine.

“I just make the running back class that much deeper,” Hill said. “I have complete confidence in myself and my abilities.

“Some players have one thing they do really well, I feel like I do everything really good. I catch the ball out of the backfield, block, runs hard.

“Football teams don’t go very far without their quarterback,” Hill added. “If you can keep your quarterback clean, the better chance you have of winning.”

Hill is projected as a mid-to-late-round pick, but doesn’t pay attention to draft projections – believing he’s among the best in the class.

“Brian Hill is a big power back,” said NFL Network draft analyst Daniel Jeremiah, a former Ravens scout. “He’s physical. He runs hard. I do not think he’s very elusive. Had some issues with his vision.

“But, look, you’ve got some size and some power to work with him.”

Hill wanted to show at the NFL Combine he had speed to go with power. But he posted a disappointing 40-yard dash time of 4.54 seconds. He improved his 40 to 4.47 seconds at Wyoming’s pro day on March 9.

“It was very important. I knew I could get it under 4.5,” Hill said. “I was disappointed with my combine time. My pro day, I came in and focused on the 40.”

That disappointment at the combine was nothing compared to the heartbreak he felt when the Rams announced following the 2015 season they were leaving St. Louis after 21 seasons.

So, how would it feel if the Los Angeles Rams were the team to draft him?

“That would be very weird to play in a Rams uniform and have the setting be L.A. instead of St. Louis, like I’m used to,” the 21-year-old Hill said. “If you tell me I’m going to play for the Rams, I’m still thinking of the Edward Jones Dome, seeing Busch Stadium and being right in the middle of downtown St. Louis with the Arch there. I still get that feeling when I hear the Rams are playing.

“It would definitely be weird to get drafted by the Los Angeles Rams, but I wouldn’t mind at all.”

About Ron Clements

Wisconsin native, former Marine, Summa Cum Laude graduate of East Carolina University and a working sports journalist since 1999.