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NFL analyst defends Taysom Hill-Jim Thorpe comparison

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New Orleans Saints tight end Taysom Hill (7) warms up before an NFL football game against the Tennessee Titans.

New Orleans Saints tight end Taysom Hill (7) warms up before an NFL football game against the Tennessee Titans in New Orleans on Sunday, Sept. 10, 2023.

Gerald Herbert, Associated Press

Taysom Hill is known for his do-it-all capabilities for the New Orleans Saints.

Hall of Famer Jim Thorpe built his reputation on being a well-rounded athlete, too.

Still, when a CBS Sports analyst drew a comparison between the two, it raised eyebrows.

During Sunday’s game between the New Orleans Saints and the Tennessee Titans, Ross Tucker shared what he thought about Hill’s skill set.

“I’m not kidding when I think and I tell you, I think he’s one of the best football players ever,” Tucker said during the broadcast.

“I know he’s not a Hall of Famer or any of that. This guy can play quarterback, running back, tight end. He makes tackles on special teams. This guy’s like Jim Thorpe. I mean, can you name any other guys that’ve ever done all the things that Taysom Hill did? He’s like the perfect football player.”

Hill went undrafted out of BYU and while he hasn’t become a starting quarterback in the NFL, he has been a steady contributor for the Saints over the past seven seasons at a variety of offensive positions — from QB to RB to TE — and on special teams.

Thorpe was a Hall of Fame football player both in the college ranks and in the pros in the early 1900s. He also played baseball professionally and a gold-medal winning decathlete and pentathlete for the United States.

Since the game, Tucker has taken to social media and joined the “Dan Patrick Show” and “The Jim Rome Show” and defended that take.

“I’m talking about the pure essence of playing football,” Tucker told Rome. “What are all the things you can do as a football player? You can run, you can catch, you can throw, you can block, you can tackle.

“I don’t know that we’ve seen a guy like Taysom Hill, not in my lifetime. To think that there’s an NFL guy at that level blows my mind away.”

He later added, “I’m talking about pure football player, like all-around football player, anything a football player could be asked to do, I think Taysom Hill is one of the best ever. To me, he’s the closest thing in my lifetime to what evidently Jim Thorpe and those guys did back in the day.”