While a terrific 40-Time doesn’t always translate into immense success in the NFL, it can create tons of buzz and often elevate a prospect’s draft stock.
Stephen Hill took the Twitter world by storm on Sunday morning after unofficially setting the two fastest times to date in the 40-yard dash at the 2012 NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis with a flat 4.30 and 4.31 in his second stab.
Update: Stephen Hill ran an official 4.3 in his 40-yard dash, second-best among wide outs and led everyone at his position with a broad jump of 11’1”.
The 6-4, 215 pound wide out is quickly opening eyes and putting many in mind of Calvin Johnson (6-5, 236 pounds) and DeMaryius Thomas (6-3, 235 pounds), both of whom came from the confides of the run-first option offense at Georgia Tech.
Production Problem: Hill’s Achilles’ heel is how he’ll transition to the next level after a lack of production in his collegiate career. Hill accumulated just 28 receptions last season.
However, he averaged a whopping 29.3 yards a pop. In three seasons, he totaled 49 receptions for 1,248 yards and nine scores with 147 yards and a touchdown on 12 carries on the ground.
Nonetheless, Johnson racked up just 48 catches for 756 yards and four scores in his rookie year and Thomas triggered only 22 catches for 283 yards and two touchdowns in his first season.
Likely Landing Spots: With this in mind, teams searching for a premier receiver that will make an immediate impact might want to look elsewhere. The St. Louis Rams, Seattle Seahawks, Washington Redskins, Jacksonville Jaguars, Indianapolis Colts, Baltimore Ravens and Cleveland Browns fall into that category.
On the other hand, several teams that need to bolster their receiving corps, but don’t have to necessarily have a momentous difference-maker and No. 1 receiver from Day One could be an appealing option.
The Oakland Raiders, Denver Broncos, San Diego Chargers, Tennessee Titans, Houston Texans, New England Patriots, Buffalo Bills, Minnesota Vikings, Carolina Panthers and San Francisco 49ers would therefore likely be better suited as possible destinations.
Conclusion: After a private workout on Saturday night, Bleacher Report’s NFL Draft Lead Writer Matt Miller described Hill as a great kid, raw prospect, very fast and among the funniest people he’s ever met.
Hill is a big, physical receiver and an excellent blocker with big-play potential at the next level. Look for the Yellow Jacket alum to continue to reach new heights as he floats like a butterfly and stings like a bee. Here’s a clip of his sick, unbelievable one-handed catch against North Carolina and his dazzling display in his 40-yard dash.
And since there’s not much tape on this guy, here’s another video where a state trooper tackles Hill out of bounds.