One of the last few players to leave the green room, wide receiver Stephen Hill was extremely elated when his name was called 43rd overall by the New York Jets, a team that traded up four spots with the Seattle Seahawks to get him.
The 6-4, 215-pound product is a very raw receiver after operating in Georgia Tech’s triple-option offense.
A big, physical receiver, Hill had just 28 receptions last season, but also averaged over 29 yards a pop.
Hill’s Achilles Heel could be a blessing in disguise, as his experience in Tech’s attack has helped make him the “second-best blocking wide receiver in this draft,” according to Mike Mayock of NFL Network.
“I got an old nickname reincarnated — and we’re gonna call him Thrill Hill,” Mayock added.
That’s not the only way his weakness becomes a strength for Gang Green, either.
The team has said it plans to utilize more gadget play calls with Tim Tebow.
“If Tebow’s in the game in that offense, there’s a lot of man-coverage, as they allow the safeties to come down hill and play [against the] option,” Mayock continued following the Jets’ selection. ”If he gets man-to-man coverage on the edge, very similar when Tebow played in Denver with DeMaryius Thomas, that kid’s gonna win a lot of jump balls.”
His combination of size, speed, strength and athleticism are off-the-charts.
In three seasons, Hill totaled 49 receptions for 1,248 yards and nine scores with 147 yards and a touchdown on 12 carries on the ground. He has exponential big-play potential to become a home-run hitter at the next level.
If he does, he won’t be all that dissimilar from former Jets receiver Wesley Walker, who announced Hill’s selection.
We likely won’t see a momentous immediate impact from Hill, nonetheless. He’ll still take time to develop, just like Calvin Johnson (6-5, 236 pounds) and DeMaryius Thomas (6-3, 235 pounds), both of whom come from the confides of Georgia Tech.
In his rookie campaign, Thomas triggered only 22 catches for 283 yards and two touchdowns, while Megatron racked up just 48 catches for 756 yards and four scores in his rookie year.
“You put him on the outside, he may be a neophite, but if he’s in the game, you better back up and you better be in a shell,” Brian Billick also said on Friday night. ”And that’s going to help the running game.”
His addition also fills a top need for a team that previously had a gaping chasm across from Santonio Holmes.