In Praise of Vikings OT Rashod Hill

For the Vikings to find success in 2021, they’ll need players like the oft-underrated Rashod Hill to thrive in their role.

An UDFA who began his NFL career with the Jaguars, Rashod Hill has spent the past five seasons with the Vikings. He was a practice squad player before Minnesota made a move to sign him. In 2016, he only played one game. However, from 2017 onward Hill has been active for the vast majority of Minnesota’s games. 2017 involved Hill playing 53% of the offensive snaps, the most he’s ever played in his NFL career. Last year, he played 11% of Minnesota’s offensive snaps.

His value goes beyond just the amount of snaps he plays. He’s a rock-solid swing tackle. He’s good enough to play far more than 11% of the snaps but instead provides great depth at one of the game’s most important positions. Rashod Hill is likely the only depth Vikings linemen who is nearly guaranteed his roster spot.

In the upcoming season, Hill will make around $2.4 million (but that number will only count for just over $1.1 million against the cap). It’s a bargain.

In the past, Zim has been pretty outspoken in his praise for Hill: “He’s an extremely athletic guy that has been getting better and better.” Zim also suggests that “[w]hen he sets good in the passing game, he’s really hard to get around.”

Stories from the early days of his career detail his progress toward becoming an NFL player: “He originally signed with his hometown team as a rookie free agent prior to the 2016 season and was briefly elevated to the Jaguars’ 53-man roster that year. The Vikings plucked him off the Jaguars’ practice squad later that season, and he went on to appear in 11 games and make seven starts (six at right tackle, one at left tackle) in 2017.” These stories are also quick to point out that he originally began his NFL journey with a $10,000 signing bonus to join Jacksonville’s practice squad. Humble beginnings by NFL standards.

We all know that the offensive line presents us with some concern; thankfully, backup OT Rashod Hill is part of the solution for the Vikings. Indeed, he has quietly developed into one of the foremost swing tackles in the NFL. I shouldn’t have to convince Vikings fans about the importance of quality backups. Think back to the 2017 season: how far would we have gotten were it not for Case Keenum’s brilliance? Admittedly, a QB has more of an impact than an OT, but the point remains: having strong backups is important.

In an ideal world, Hill’s snaps will look closer to 2020 than 2017. Brian O’Neill and Christian Darrisaw ought to receive the majority of the snaps at OT. If they struggle or get hurt, though, Minnesota has a great option to fill-in, and that’s supremely valuable.