Bolts Examine O-Line Prospect

Chargers officials confronted their offensive tackle needs at the Combine by hunting for reliable and forceful depth. Convening with one experienced prospect in Indy, the Bolts look to bring him to fortify their front line. This prospect's remarkable experience and strength make him a prime pick for the Bolts…if they can overlook one drawback.

Tony Hills of Texas was tapped for a meeting by the Chargers medical staff at the NFL Combine. His skill and knowledge make him a promising addition to the Bolts roster. Named first team All-Big 12, Hills' feats on the field proved utterly deserving of the recognition.

Hills threw 10 blocks that led to touchdowns in his senior year with the Longhorns. He impressively allowed only one quarterback sack and three pressures. His 84.82% grade for blocking consistency marked his first-rate talent and performance.

Hills, who provided backup to All-American and current Detroit Lions lineman Jonathan Scott for two seasons, is considered one of the most experienced offensive linemen in the draft. At 6'5", 309 pounds, Hills started 24 consecutive games and saw playing time in 42 career games with Texas.

Ill-timed at the least, Hills fractured his fibula in his left leg, causing him to spend the latter half of his senior year on the sidelines. His 5.16-second 40-yard dash at the Combine shows he's on the comeback trail, but the injury is still a red-flag the Chargers are forced to consider.

This isn't the first time Hills has overcome an injury. He underwent left knee surgery his freshman year at Texas, causing him to red-shirt that season. While he bounced back to be a sound replacement for Jonathon Scott, Hills' injury history creates a stir and his health will be closely evaluated.

The Bolts are itching to add depth behind starting offensive linemen Marcus McNeill and Jeromey Clary. The front line is feasibly the prime focus for the Bolts' draft picks, as last year's backups, Roman Oben and Shane Olivea, were both released.

Texas head coach Mack Brown admires the potential Hills displays and thinks he'd be the fit the Bolts seek.

"Not only is Hills a great player on the field but he also is a tremendous team leader who provides an emotional spark for the team. He is a resilient and positive player. He'll get healthy, work hard in his rehabilitation and has a bright future."

Hills has the ideal body positioning and control the Bolts covet. While his long arms expand his body, permitting him to block his opponent with sheer force, he also maneuvers his hips and mirrors his opponent to get the effective block. Hills' striking dedication and motivation to improve are unparalleled.

If the Bolts consider Hills' attitude and perseverance, then he could very well be the man for the job. After watching Hills make a huge impact after bouncing back from injury once before, the Bolts see him digging deep to find the strength to do it again.


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