Soon to be stars: Sammie Lee Hill

Scouts Inc.'s Matt Williamson looks at NFC North players on the verge of a breakout in 2011.

HillHillWith the amazing rookie season that we witnessed from Ndamukong Suh, it was easy to overlook what another young defensive tackle did for the Detroit Lions' fantastic front four.

Like everyone on this line, Sammie Lee Hill certainly benefited from Suh’s emergence and the attention the defensive rookie of the year received from opposing blocking schemes. But Hill also became a rotational player with Corey Williams and Suh, making up one third of one of the best groups of defensive tackles in the NFL. Don’t discount Hill’s contributions. This is a very good emerging player.

A huge-bodied defensive tackle, Hill’s power, bulk and strength complement the upfield abilities of Suh and Williams very well. And this young player should only get stronger and stouter at the point of attack with refined technique and leverage.

But Hill isn’t just a big run-stopper. His pass-rush was apparent as well in 2010. He can push the pocket. And once again, he should only improve in this department with more technique work and adding more to his pass-rushing arsenal.

Maybe the most important aspect to remember when discussing Hill is that he is only 24 years old and hails from a tiny football school, Stillman. So his development still might only be in the infant stages. That is obviously extremely encouraging.

Scouts Inc. watches games, breaks down film and studies football from all angles for ESPN.com.