Today, GWR features New York’s second-round draft choice, Stephen Hill.
When the New York Jets moved up four spots to select Georgia Tech wide receiver Stephen Hill in the second-round of April’s draft, it was crystal clear that the front office saw something special in the former Yellowjacket. New York sent its second, fourth and sixth round draft selections to the Seattle Seahawks in exchange for the No. 43 overall pick.
Hill, whose raw athleticism was far too good to pass up, developed into one of the NCAA’s most prolific vertical threats and a premier blocker in Georgia Tech’s triple option offense. The Jets are hoping Hill will make a smooth transition into Tony Sparano’s ground-and-pound scheme in New York. Hill will likely replace Plaxico Burress, who is expected to sign elsewhere this offseason. Despite hauling in eight touchdown passes in 2011, Burress was unable to create separation in the open field or create big yardage plays.
Rex Ryan is convinced that Hill will bring an entirely new dynamic to a Jets offense that will employ run-heavy schemes, but keep defenses honest with deep passing plays. During training camp Hill will continue to develop his route running as he only tallied 49 receptions, 1,248 yards and nine to touchdowns over his three-year collegiate career. Hill’s 25.4 yards per catch average ranked him among the best in the nation over that span.
The next step for Hill is to refine his short and intermediate routes and to turn quick passing plays into long gainers.Gang Green gushed over Hill when he fell into their lap on draft day.
Playing alongside a possession receiver in Santonio Holmes and shifty slot-man in Jeremy Kerley, Hill will look to bolster a Jets passing attack that ranked 22nd in the NFL a season ago.
One of his greatest assets is his ability to hold a block and create running lanes on the outside for the team’s ballcarriers. With the Jets leaning heavily on the legs of Tim Tebow, Shonn Greene and rookie Terrance Ganaway, Hill can make a tremendous impact even if the ball is not in his hands.