The New Orleans Saints have struggled finding a permanent replacement for Jimmy Graham at tight end, only finding temporary success in the immediately-following year with a career best year from Benjamin Watson.
Every offseason it seems, Josh Hill is looked at as one potential option to be “that guy.” The 2018 offseason was no different. While the Saints brought back Benjamin Watson on a one-year deal to replace the concussed Coby Fleener, Watson wasn’t expected to do much in his age 37-38 season.
Hill appeared in all 16 games, starting 11 of them, but finished the year with only 16 receptions on 24 targets with a lone touchdown.
Josh Hill - At a Glance
- Approximate Value: 2 (tied for best in career)
- Overall Grade: 56.0
- Receiving Grade: 57.3
- Run Block Grade: 57.9
- Pass Block Grade: 61.0
- Total Snaps: 653 on offense and 67 on special teams
With Benjamin Watson forced to miss the NFC Championship Game against the Los Angeles Rams due to appendicitis, Josh Hill was asked to step up on the big stage. Unfortunately for Hill, and for the rest of Who Dat nation, Hill was ultimately knocked out of the game due to a no-call (go figure, right?) helmet-to-helmet hit early in the game.
I’m still salty about the @Saints game! Why aren’t more people talking about this dirty shot that knocked out our starting TE Josh Hill for the game?! You’d think that after this missed call that they would tighten it up. But we all know now that didn’t happen. pic.twitter.com/IvEHlGU771— Bam Bams BBQ (@BamBamsBBQ) January 23, 2019
If Hill isn’t able to avoid concussions like this in the future, he’ll eventually end up like former Saint Coby Fleener. Still, that didn’t stop the Saints from signing Hill to an extension before the end of the regular season.
Sources: the Saints have signed TE Josh Hill to a three-year, $8.85M extension through 2021.— Field Yates (@FieldYates) December 31, 2018
Don’t let the three-year extension fool you: Josh Hill is still not the long-term answer at tight end for the Saints. Josh Hill is an asset as a blocker - and surprisingly effective at tight end screens - but elite pass catcher he is not. The Saints will still need to find some way to address the position either in free agency or via the draft.