Moves decently toward the football through contact inside and can put himself in position to make some plays when run at, but really struggles to stack and shed with any kind of consistency. Nevertheless, can keep his pad level down vs. the run and is tough to move off the ball, will overwhelm blocks one-on-one on contact and can clog up lanes inside.
Exhibits an above-average first step for his size and consistently gets off the snap on time in the pass game, but doesn't display the type of power as a bull rusher as you would expect from someone his size. Isn't real balanced or sudden when asked to change directions. Tries to work his arm over to disengage, but isn't real compact, flails his arms and just exposes too much of his frame in the process.
Impression: The guy has some natural power and anchor strength, but he looks real top heavy any time he's asked to be anything other than a linear athlete. But, his size/power should get him a shot in an NFL training camp as a developmental/free agent type guy."
Positive: Hardworking lineman in the middle who does the little things well. Plays with good pad level, quickly gets his hands up, and is tough to move off the point. Gets off the snap with a quick first step and shows the ability to shoot the open gaps. Works hard until the whistle blows.
Negative: Lacks playing balance and controlled by a single blocker. Must develop more moves with his hands. More of a straight-line defender who cannot make plays down the line.
Analysis: Hill is a space-eating defensive lineman who effectively occupies blockers and allows teammates to make plays on the ball. He does not possess a lot of upside for the next level but has enough skill to find a home as a backup in a variety of defensive schemes."
2010: Played in 11 games, starting in nine of those games. 16 total tackles on the season. Came up with 2.5 tackles for loss and one sack. Also forced one fumble, recovered one fumble, broke up one pass, and was credited with one QB hurry.
2009: Started eight of the 10 games he played in, including the first seven and the Poinsettia Bowl against Utah ... missed three consecutive contests due to injury at Arizona State, vs. Oregon State and vs. Arizona ... finished with 18 tackles, 4.5 tackles for loss (-11 yards) and 2.0 sacks (-8 yards) ... recipient of the team's Schelssinger Coaches Award for outstanding athletic ability, academic success and community service ... named as the nation's No. 45 draft-eligible defensive tackle by Phil Steele prior to the season ... had a career-high-tying five tackles on a pair of occasions vs. Eastern Washington and USC, while picking up four tackles and both of his career-high 2.0 sacks (-8 yards) against Washington State ... also had 1.0 tackle for loss (-1 yard) both at Oregon and UCLA, as well as 0.5 tackles for loss (-1 yard) vs. Eastern Washington.
2008: Earned starts at nose tackle in nine of Cal's 13 games, ending the season with 29 tackles, 2.5 tackles for loss (-4 yards), 0.5 sacks (-1 yard) and one pass breakup ... had a season-high-tying four stops at Maryland and vs. Arizona State ... garnered a half-sack for a loss of one yard at Arizona ... had 1.5 tackles for loss among his three tackles vs. Miami, Fla. in the Emerald Bowl, while adding 0.5 tackles for loss at UCLA.
2007: Overcame a preseason knee injury to earn a spot on Cal's two-deep, responding with 24 tackles, 2.0 tackles for loss (-11 yards), 1.0 sacks (-9 yards), an interception that he returned three yards, a quarterback hurry and a pass breakup in 11 games and one start ... selected as an honorable mention Freshman All-American by Scout ... earned his first career start in the Armed Forces Bowl against Air Force, essentially playing nose tackle in a 3-4 alignment and registering a career-high-tying five tackles ... had two tackles and corralled a key interception in the first quarter against Colorado State when the Rams had third-and-goal on the Cal two-yard line ... recorded three tackles, 0.5 tackles for loss (-1 yard), a quarterback hurry and a pass breakup that was nearly interception against Louisiana Tech ... logged his first career sack (-9 yards) against Arizona.
2006: Played in three games and recorded five tackles with three vs. Portland State and two at Tennessee, before a knee injury forced him to redshirt the season.
HIGH SCHOOL: One of the most decorated players in the 2006 recruiting class ... consensus prep All-American ... considered one of the top-50 players in the country by Rivals, who also listed him as the nation's No. 8 defensive tackle, and the No. 8 overall prospect in California and No. 13 in the West ... listed on the prestigious ESPN 150 ... selected to PrepStar's Dream Team, which is that service's highest honor ... Scout listed him at No. 9 nationally among defensive line prospects ... honored as the top player on the Contra Costa Times' "Cream of the Crop" squad in 2006 when he was also first-team All-State, a first-team selection of the Long Beach Press-Telegram's "Best in the West" team and the Oakland Tribune's East Bay Defensive Player of the Year ... a three-time All-City choice ... participated in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl and gave his verbal commitment to Cal on national television ... chosen for the CaliFlorida Bowl ... senior numbers included 105 tackles, 45.0 tackles for loss and 15.5 sacks as he led his team to an 11-1 mark.
PERSONAL: Full name is Derrick Hill Jr. ... born July 16, 1988 ... parents are Derrick Hill and Tamara Purifoy-Hill ... major is African American Studies.
Strengths: Good initial burst off the snap. Plays in the opponent's backfield. Good strength and use of leverage at the POA. Has the strength to disrupt plays in the backfield by driving the center into the play. Can push the pocket with his strength on a bull rush move.
Weaknesses: Limited athletic ability. Does not move well laterally. Doesn't possess the closing speed to make plays on the ball carrier or finish off a sack. A non-factor as a pass rusher and has limited pass rush moves.
Projection: UDFA who will get a training camp invite. Projects as a nose tackle for a 4-3 defense."