San Diego State looks to be represented in the 2012 NFL Draft by RB Ronnie Hillman and QB Ryan Lindley. Both were impact players with SDSU. Ronnie Hillman in particular seemingly came out of nowhere and put up monster numbers in his two years with the Aztecs.
Hillman’s college career began spectacularly; he totalled 1532 yards rushing with 17 TDs in his freshman year. In his sophomore year he had to expand his role a bit, due to a lack of quality receivers. He rushed for 1711 yards, caught 24 receptions for 270 yards, and totalled 20 touchdowns. It was a monster year for the second year back.
Hillman decided to enter the 2012 Draft due to monetary concerns. While he exceled in his short time at SDSU, Hillman doesn’t project as a top 10 RB in the draft. A big concern to look out for is his durability. He has had ankle and calf problems in the past, and he actually strained his left hamstring during the Combine. At SDSU, Hillman had a lean frame, which could lead to scouts fearing injury after a big-hit. To his credit, Hillman has worked hard on putting on mass, while maintaining his speed.
Hillman projects to go in the 5th or 6th round. Because of his size and concerns about his durability, expect a team with an established starter take Hillman on as a third down complimentary back. One intriguing fit may be the San Diego Chargers, who have yet to sign a backup for Ryan Mathews. Teams like the Browns are likely to draft a RB earlier due to a bigger need, so expect Hillman to complement an established running game.