Is Taysom Hill a starting NFL quarterback? What we know from 15 career passes

    • Senior analyst at Pro Football Focus
    • Contributes regular columns to ESPN Insider

There are few more intriguing offseason storylines than that of New Orleans Saints Swiss Army knife Taysom Hill and his prospects — not just as a gimmick player but as an NFL quarterback.

Nobody has talked him up more than his coach, Sean Payton, comparing Hill to Steve Young and saying he is “like gold bullion.” If anything, the praise is said to be even more effusive inside the building. But Hill has attempted just 15 passes in his NFL career, including the playoffs. To put those numbers into context, the Broncos’ Drew Lock attempted 156 as a rookie last season, and we still have no idea about his future. The Giants’ Daniel Jones threw 459 passes, and we’re not much wiser in his case.

Is Hill, a restricted free agent, worth pursuing this offseason? Payton obviously sees Hill in practice and during meetings and in multiple settings the rest of us simply aren’t given access to, so to a certain degree, we need to acknowledge that he is working with more information on the subject than we are. But it’s still worth looking at the 29-year-old’s tape to see if there are signs of the potential in which Payton has so much confidence.

Scant data points

To start, let’s acknowledge just how little data we have on Hill as a quarterback. He has played almost 1,200 snaps in total the past two seasons, if you include special teams, but just 105 of them came with him lined up at quarterback, and 67 of those snaps still had Drew Brees on the field. Hill lined up as the sole quarterback on the field for just 33 snaps the past two seasons, which is around half a game’s worth.

Source: Read Full Article