When the New York Jets drafted receiver Stephen Hill in the second round of the 2012 NFL Draft, they hoped they were getting a future playmaker. After yesterday’s performance in a 48-28 win over the Buffalo Bills, it looks like Hill might have an immediate impact.
Hill had the ball thrown his way 6 times and finished the day with 5 catches for 89 yards and two touchdowns, including a 33-yard touchdown catch.
Mark Sanchez seemed very comfortable looking Hill’s way when Santonio Holmes was not open and Hill responded.
There was a lot of concern over Hill’s ability to contribute after spending his college days in Georgia Tech’s triple option offense where passing the football was a rarity. Hill was seen as a talented receiver but very raw. Hill has even acknowledged he is very raw and still has a lot to learn but he has been busting his hump trying to get up to speed and it showed in his first regular season action.
Hill possesses amazing speed, running a 4.36 40-yard dash at the combine, and he put that speed to good use, getting ahead of the Bills defensive backs and setting himself up in excellent position to make the catch. His size, 6-4, 215 pounds, is a big advantage, especially when a much smaller corner tries to bump him at the line. He showed an ability to get past that and get into the next level of coverage with relative ease.
In my opinion, Hill has the talents to be the best receiver in the entire draft class, a class that was heavy on receiving talent. I honestly think the Jets finally drafted themselves a Calvin Johnson-like player with the ability to completely change a football game. Time will tell if I am right but it seems, for the moment, that Hill is transitioning very well in the NFL. For now, Hill is off to a great start. With more work, the sky is the limit for him.