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Why K.J. Hill could be late round steal for Chargers

K.J. Hill was taken 220th overall by the Los Angeles Chargers. Will he be able to make the roster and have fantasy value in his career?

North wide receiver KJ Hill of Ohio State runs back a punt during the 2020 Senior Bowl college football game at Ladd-Peebles Stadium. Vasha Hunt-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Chargers selected Ohio State wide receiver K.J. Hill with the 220th pick in the 2020 NFL Draft. Will he be able to make an impact with so many other capable pass catchers and a questionable quarterback situation? Hill ranked second on Ohio State in receiving yards in each of his last two collegiate seasons. He finished with 57 receptions for 636 yards and 10 scores in 2019.

Scouting Report

Hill doesn’t have top-notch speed, but has quality route running and manages to find open spaces easily. His ability to find soft spots in the coverage could make him a dangerous slot receiver in the pros. Although he’s consistent when it comes to catching the football, contested catches aren’t his forte. That limits his upside.

Words like “dependable,” “reliable,” and “consistent” work well to describe Ohio State’s all-time catch leader. He’s a slot worker who is most effective in space, where his route savvy and sticky hands can make their mark. He’s not sudden or special with the ball in his hands underneath and won’t stretch defenses vertically, so the routes may need to go from good to great for him to become more than a solid backup. — NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein

Fantasy football impact

Keenan Allen is the obvious WR1 in Los Angeles, and he’s trailed by wide receiver Mike Williams, tight end Hunter Henry, and running back Austin Akeler among the pass catchers. The Chargers’ WR3 last season was Dontrelle Inman. He only tallied eight receptions for 132 yards and no scores. The quarterback battle between Tyrod Taylor and rookie Justin Herbert has created an interesting situation for pass catchers, as it’s unclear how either option will affect offensive productivity at this point. Hill could make himself a more useful WR3 than Inman, but won’t be a starter on a team with so much firepower.