*Our QB grades can and will change as more information comes in from Pro Day workouts, leaked Wonderlic test results, etc. We will update ratings as new info becomes available. 

I would like to start out by saying that Taysom Hill is arguably the best quarterback talent in the 2016 NFL Draft, but if I do so you’ll think I’m a loon. Actually, I’m not sure Taysom Hill is in the NFL Draft…he’s listed on every draft list/site of note, but I can find no evidence he’s declared…or not. So, for now…I’m going to assume he’s in.

I could just back it down to just claiming he’s one of the best ‘sleepers’ in the 2016 quarterback draft class. That’s a safer way to go and gives me a lot of wiggle room from not making crazy claims.

I’ll just say this: Taysom Hill is a highly mobile Brett Favre…not just in mannerisms/movements, but to be debated with similar passer quality as well. The foot speed of Andrew Luck, with the runner mindset of Russell Wilson/Marcus Mariota.

Those claims and comparisons sound exciting, but no doubt you were back to thinking I was a loon because Hill is in no one’s top 20 quarterback prospects for this NFL Draft. I’m not sure most people realize he’s eligible for the NFL Draft; he’s so far off the grid right now.

There’s a reason for that.

I would like to explain what I am seeing with Hill, and then deliver the bucket of cold water by explaining why it’s probably never going to matter in the NFL. But it might…

I honestly expected to blow through this scouting study in short order because I was convinced by the silence among the football analyst community that there was nothing here but a nice ragtag, run-first college quarterback. I saw brief scouting recaps from recognizable scouts who thought Hill was a mess as a thrower, always wanting to run. I looked over his college numbers, and you could see the heavy running totals, with a mishmash of interesting and scary passer numbers depending upon the game you cherry-picked.

I put on a highlight reel video of his from the 2013 season, his most notorious season, and was instantly impressed. This was not the guy I was told about. This guy looks like he could actually play quarterback/pass the ball with the best of them, plus has high mobility. Perhaps, it was just a fluke of the first thing I grabbed to watch. I then decided to jump to an actual 2014 game, and watched him versus UConn, and my jaw dropped. Two pieces of tape, and two moments that I sat up straight in my seat and leaned in closer to watch what was going on. He had my attention. Why wasn’t anyone excited about this guy? I decided to flip ahead to his only game he played in 2015, at Nebraska on opening day, and was dazzled again. Whoever scouted Hill prior and thought he did not have an NFL ability as a passer, is totally out of their minds.

I describe him as a highly mobile Brett Favre, because that’s all I could think of. It helps that he wore #4 and moves around just like Favre. But I mean, he is Brett Favre reincarnated. He moves around in the pocket sideways or wherever, finds time to scan the field while all hell is breaking loose around him, and he just slides away from trouble and throws the ball at the very last second before he’s going to take a hit. When he does throw, he usually delivers the ball right on the money…he just finds a way to make plays. He also has that uncanny Favre-like ability to move around all over the place, and throw the ball falling backwards, falling sideways, jumping in the air, contorting around the defender, and just getting the ball to an open receiver. I’m not sure I’ve seen anything like it from any quarterback in this 2016 class. I definitely can’t recall anyone as good in the 2015 class.

*Whether you think the NFL would welcome or reject a 'next Brett Favre' as 'takes too many chances' is a whole other argument. 

Now, if you’re unfamiliar with Taysom Hill, and you did not stop to go find out more information off of Google before proceeding with this report, you are highly intrigued why I’m jumping out of my skin over him, and yet you never heard his name mentioned so far this draft season. Sadly, there’s good reason for that.

After a fantastic/electric 2013 season where he splashed onto the scene as a full starter for BYU, heading into the 2014 season, Hill looked like he might lead BYU towards a playoff run/undefeated season, and was a favorite for the Heisman. Sadly, in his fifth game of the 2014 season Hill fractured his leg and was lost for the season. A few years prior, in 2012, Hill lost his season just as he was becoming a freshman sensation—hurting his knee and requiring surgery. He was able to play a full season in 2013, and then had the huge expectations in 2014, but the injury bug hit him a second time. Again, with the huge expectations going into 2015, he was leading his team to a big opening day win on the road at Nebraska, when he hurt his foot, and had to leave the game in the fourth quarter. It was revealed that Hill suffered a Lisfranc injury in the second quarter, and unbelievably played through it, but eventually had to come out of the game. After serious injuries in 2012 and 2014, one game into 2015 he lost his entire season again. What might’ve been.

‘What might have been’ has a lot to do with this conversation/scouting.

A fully healthy, playing-all-season Taysom Hill had a strong chance to be the Heisman trophy winner in 2014, and if he fell a little short/if it wasn’t his time…then he would have had an even stronger chance to win it in 2015. He was a college player who would have thrown for 20+ TDs and run for 10–15+ scores as well with several highlight reel plays…in 2013, in 13 games, he ran for 1,344 yards.

Had he stayed injury-free, he would have been viewed as a more capable downfield-throwing, thicker/tougher, shorter Marcus Mariota.

Had he stayed injury-free, he would have been viewed as a taller, better-passing, much more high-character Johnny Manziel.

Without the injuries, Hill would have numbers, highlights, a big winning percentage, and momentum on his side heading into the NFL Draft. Instead, we were robbed of those highlights. We were robbed of him progressing with experience. He would be discussed in a Mariota or perhaps smaller, better passing Cam Newton kind of light, if not for the repeated injuries. If all that is true…we are dealing with a quarterback who has ‘that kind’ of talent, but how do we value it for the 2016 NFL Draft factoring in all his injuries?

In 2012, Hill tore his LCL from the bone…which from what I understand is not the worst thing ever (as bad as it sounds). It was reattached via surgery. Everything was found to be structurally sound. He came back faster than anyone expected. A few months after surgery, in his second game back in 2013, Hill ran for 259 yards and 3 TDs in a defeat of Texas in 2013. He went on to rush for over 1,000 yards that season. I’m guessing he was OK enough moving around after his prior year surgery.

In 2014, he fractured his leg on an awkward tackle five games into the season. It was ugly. Shredded ligaments…a plate, and several crews inserted. Yet, there he was back a few months later on opening day 2015. In that 2015 opener, 72 yards rushing with 2 rushing TDs in three quarters against a worthy defense in Nebraska, and then…the Lisfranc injury took him out (after he played with it, moving around for a quarter+).

Likely to come back fine from this latest injury? History says, “yes.”

Likely to get injured again in 2016? History says, “yes.”

It’s possible the Philadelphia Eagles will commit tens of millions of dollars to a quarterback (Sam Bradford) with more injuries, and who is less mobile…and probably not as gifted as Hill, all-around.

So what is Hill worth in the NFL Draft?

The problem with his draft valuation is people have already written him off as a crazy, running, always injured, BYU Mormon quarterback who can’t pass the ball at an NFL level. In his 2015 return from latest injury opening game, Todd McShay graded Hill with ‘C’ passing ability and a ‘B’ arm. I think he has an ‘A-’ passer instinct who has upside from there if he could get the reps robbed from him due to injury. He is also an ‘A+’ arm. I’m not sure many QBs in this class have the velocity and release that Hill does. I am wildly impressed watching him at work. You want to see a quarterback with ‘it’…he has ‘it’. A gift. He also has a curse—the dreaded injury bug. How do you value that for the draft? Does he even want to be drafted?

Hill was originally scouted by and committed to Jim Harbaugh/Stanford. Hill was going to be the heir apparent. When Harbaugh left for the pros, Hill switched over to BYU. Hill is Stanford smart, and is apparently (from articles I’ve read) ready to make nice money in finance/business if he walks from the NFL.



Taysom Hill, Through the Lens of Our QB Scouting Algorithm:

In his first three starts as ‘the man’ in 2013, as a sophomore coming off his LCL surgery, and catching huge attention for rushing for 259 yards and 3 TDs in a victory over Texas in the second of those three games—it was not lost on football analysts that Hill completed just 35.0% of his passes for 1 TD/3 INTs in that three-game span. As he kinda came into some notoriety, Hill was seen as a bit of a running, rambling, wild-child thrower…and I think people latched onto that, and defined him by those games—because who watched BYU football anyway? The perception was hard to shake.

After those three games, in his remaining 10 games played in 2013, Hill posted a 60.5% completion percentage with 18 TDs/11 INTs passing…rushing for 6 TDs, and had a 7–3 record, and played in his only bowl game in his college career (the only season he was healthy by the end).

In Hill’s 4.5-game run (left the Utah State game early) in 2014, before he fractured his leg…he posted a 66.7% completion percentage, with 7 TDs/3 INTs, and 8 rushing TDs—almost two rushing TDs per game.

The more Hill played, the more he aged/gained experience, the more precise his passing got. I can tell you that watching him play the position in 2014 and his brief 2015 appearance was a delight…coming from a scout who tries to discredit and debunk/hate things. Again, it was like watching Brett Favre reincarnated…only this version of Favre could run the ball like a champ. Hill has an uncanny knack of extending pass plays with his feet and throwing the ball to the right guys in the right spot all over the field, and doing it from every arm angle, and body position you could dream up.

In his final 15 college games, over three years, (ignoring 2014/Utah State where he played less than a half due to getting injured), Hill posted a 12–3 record with 22 TDs/13 INTs and 15 rushing TDs.

Looking at 2014 and 2015 only, six games (5.5 technically), Hill threw for 8 TDs and ran for 10 TDs…accounting for 3.0 TDs per game, completing 63.9% of his passes.

Looking at 2014 and 2015 only, taking away the Utah State/injury game completely, Hill sported a 5–0 record with all five wins over D1 schools, three of them bowl teams—scoring 16 TDs in the five games.

This growing production and success coming from a guy that was constantly losing precious reps to injury and rehab. I’m telling you, there is a possible ‘special’ talent hiding here.

One other ‘number’ to hurdle for Hill…what will he measure in at for height? He might be 6’2”+. He may come in at 6’1”+…and 6’1”+ would probably take any shot he had of getting drafted and throw it out the window completely—that’s how the NFL works.


The Historical QB Prospects to Whom Taysom Hill Most Compares Within Our System:

Comparing a quarterback to Jake Waters is meaningless to most people, but if you were with us last season—you know that’s a nice endorsement…and a proper one. Waters is a fantastic QB prospect, I guarantee…except he had serious shoulder surgery, and that is a big red flag. Same with Hill and his array of lower body injuries. I will say this—Hill is better than Waters to my eye.

Some compare Hill to Tim Tebow, but to me that’s not a good call. Tebow ran like not many others could, and was a flawed, but effective enough college passer. Hill is so much farther advanced as a passer.

Johnny Manziel is as accurate a comparison as any QB on our comparison list…Hill is a taller, stronger-armed (and Manziel has a good arm), savvier passer than Manziel, with much, much less of a character issue. Manziel, lesser talented, had his size and obvious off-field issues overlooked, and got drafted in the first round. Will someone look past Hill’s injuries, and at least draft him?

QB Grade






Adj. Comp. Pct.

Adj. Yds per Comp

Adj. Pass per TD

Adj. Pass per INT


Hill, Taysom










Waters, Jake


Kansas St








Manziel, Johnny


Texas A&M








Guyton, Kenny


Ohio State








Lynch, Jordan


N. Illinois








Wilson, Russell










Sims, Blake










Tebow, Tim









*“Adj” = A view of adjusted college output in our system…adjusted for strength of opponent.

**A score of 8.5+ is where we see a stronger correlation of QBs going onto become NFL good-to-great. A scouting score of 9.5+ is rarefied air—higher potential for becoming great-to-elite.

QBs scoring 6.0–8.0 are finding more success in the new passing era of the NFL (2014–on). Depending upon system and surrounding weapons, a 6.0–8.0 rated QB can do fine in today’s NFL—with the right circumstances…but they are not ‘the next Tom Brady’ guys, just NFL-useful guys.

2016 NFL Draft Outlook:

Well, I assume that since Hill is not ranked highly by anyone, nor could he attend any all-star games, and who knows what shape he will be in for a Pro Day…there is no way a team will draft him.

If I were an NFL GM, I would draft him in the seventh round knowing he would likely go undrafted, but I’d want his rights—I wouldn’t chance him going UDFA route somewhere else. Look, the 49ers were cheered the past few years for drafting player after player coming off of/in the midst of serious injury …essentially ‘redshirting’ them; to no avail. Why couldn’t a team take that risk with Hill? I would.

NFL Outlook:   

Likely goes undrafted, and then will be buried deep on a practice squad. He will impress running scout teams the next few years, and eventually he’ll get a chance…and then hopefully he stays healthy enough to do something with his chance—because he’ll have no room for error. If he went to Canada, and stayed healthy there, he break every record they ever had.