Sure, Taysom Hill is the "best utility player" in the NFL if that is the criteria we're using. But what exactly is that supposed to mean when he is the only player used in that role?
That's the thing. Hill isn't the only one capable of playing that role, which has been my main point the entire time. Sean Payton chooses to use him in that role, and that's cool. But plenty of guys could be a gunner on a team. Plenty of guys could line up at fullback. Plenty of guys could line up at tight end. Plenty of guys could line up at wide receiver. And do it as "effectively" as Hill does... which isn't that effective, given his lack of production.
The way Payton uses Hill is unique, but Hill himself isn't unique. Teams just don't see a lot of value in playing a guy at a myriad of positions.
That is why I hate the whole "he is the best utility player in the NFL" comment. It suggests he's got a better skill-set than anyone else in the league when that simply isn't true. Nobody would even suggest he's a top 100 player in the NFL. Or top 150 even. He's never had more than 390 YFS in a season. Up until Week 8, he had 23 receiving yards and 52 rushing yards and 1 total touchdown. Like... the dude barely produces. And yet, you are telling me because he lines up at multiple positions, that is supposed to sell me on him being the best utility player in the NFL or something?
Come on now. Payton does a great job moving Hill around. He finds a way to get a great athlete on the field. Kudos to Payton. But I'm sorry if I don't care that he plays gunner, something damn near any starting WR or RB could do. And wanna know why they don't? Because there is no major value in it.
That is why this debate is so frustrating. It's like we're setting aside his complete lack of production all because he lines up at different positions. He comes in for a couple of plays a game to run some read-option (hence the higher YPC - there is a reason QBs almost always have a higher YPC than their RB counterpart, not to mention Hill has only ran the ball 44 times). Rarely does he throw, yet somehow I'm supposed to give him credit for lining up at QB for... reasons.
I'll say this. He's a great weapon to use in the red-zone. He comes in and feasts on plays designed for him. Again, a credit to Payton and his utilization of a great athlete. But ya'll give way too much credit to someone who just doesn't produce that much. Why should I consider him better than Curtis Samuel, for example, who has over 200 more YFS this season and total touchdowns? Because he lines up at more positions? I mean really, what does Taysom Hill do better than Curtis Samuel? If Samuel played gunner, would he then be the best utility player in the NFL?
I don't hate Tayson Hill. His hype is just annoying. And it makes it seem like Taysom Hill is the only player capable of doing what he's doing (which, again, isn't that much if you actually care about results). Coaches just don't find it worth playing someone at that many positions. And the only reason why the Saints do it with Hill is because he's a back-up.
So yeah. I guess he's the best utility player in the NFL. But it means nothing and really isn't that impressive. I really couldn't care less that he plays gunner. I'm sure Cam Newton could have played gunner too.