Former Georgia Tech standout Stephen Hill has had an extremely rough time adjusting to the bright lights of the NFL in his first two seasons with the Green and White. Coming out of the draft, Hill was highly touted as a physical specimen with elite potential that can ultimately replicate the success that his former alumnis have had on the NFL level.
Both Calvin Johnson and Demaryius Thomas have both hailed from the triple option U and have become dominant on the NFL level. Unfortunately for Hill and the Jets, the same success has failed to come to fruition. Hill's first two years have been disappointing as he's struggled with a combination of drops and injuries. One hole that has continued to haunt Hill's game is his inability to play as physical as his size indicated. At 6-foot-4, 215 pounds, Hill looks like Tarzan and plays like Jane.
Hill, a former track and field star, once set the record for the long jump with a 7.84 meter jump. However, between the hashes, Hill struggles to pluck balls out of the air with his amazing vertical. It's unclear whether it's a mental block or something in the way of letting Hill perform, but it's safe to say that he has the bust label on his back in camp this season.
Now struggling for a roster spot, Hill has finally started to show some of the potential that he was hyped up to become. Hill came into camp fighting for a roster spot and may very well be leaving with the keys to a starting job.
When Rex Ryan was asked about Hill's recent outrage, as well as a few deep balls in Hill's direction, the Jets' head man liked what he saw.
"It was good.," noted Ryan. "He got deep on that one too, right at the end. It was a 10-play stretch, you’ve got to focus and he made a nice play there. So that was good to see. It’s coming. We’ll see how it is. He’s going to have an opportunity and we’ll see. Again, like we said, we’ve got great competition out there and I think it’s good. There’s a lot of guys pushing each other and we’ll see how that effects Stephen, but I think, obviously, today was a good day for him."
Hill is also now healthy for the first time in a while, and has something to prove. Ryan talked with reporters on the importance on his receiver's health.
"Well, I feel good because I think he is healthy," noted Ryan. "He seems to be healthy. That was a big part of it last year, when we all noticed. We tried to throw six balls to him (but) he couldn’t escape anybody. It was more he could go straight line. That was it. He couldn’t cut. But right now, he’s healthy. Hopefully, that’s all behind him."
Both Ryan and Hill appear optimistic about the upcoming season, and now it's Hill's turn to replicate the success and tradition of the modern day Georgia Tech Wide Receiver. With one starting job available, Hill looks to claim the job as the king of the Hill in New York.