The Denver Broncos have added Tony Hills, a run-blocking offensive tackle, who can also fill in at guard if necessary. Hills was recently released by the Pittsburgh Steelers when teams made final cuts to reduce the active roster to 53 players.
To add Hills, the Broncos have released offensive guard, Herb Taylor.
Hills was drafted in the 4th round of the 2008 NFL draft with the 130th overall pick.
Hills saw some action last season in the lineup with the Steelers for a total of four games.
Position: Offensive Tackle/Guard
Weight: 304 lbs
College: University of Texas
Hills has a big frame and works most effectively as a positional blocker. In order to open holes and seal off edges for running backs to bounce outside, Hills positions his body between the defender and the ball carrier preventing the defender from making a play on the runner. As a positional blocker, Hills has been known more for his inside run blocking capabilities compared to outside. His wide frame and long arms have benefited him in the rushing game, opening lanes and holes for the back.
A downside of Hills game is his quickness and aggression. He is not a speedy blocker and fails occasionally to get outside quick enough to stop defenders at the point of attack. Bull rushers in the passing game have also been known to give him a hard time. He has been known to give up ground and be pushed into the pocket by a bull-rushing end.
Hills will be utilized in the running game more than the passing game. His large frame, long arms, and positional blocking style all work to his advantage when creating running lanes inside. He would backup either rookie right tackle, Orlando Franklin, or if necessary, left tackle, Ryan Clady. His versatility to also play guard makes him able to help out every where he's needed. There remains a concern with Hills on passing downs that his lack of quickness and susceptibility to the bull rush that needs to be addressed and worked on to become a more complete player.
Broncos should be happy to add more depth on the offensive line with the versatile Hills, who can open up lanes in the running game.