Stephen Hill is in Make or Break Year with New York Jets

By Christopher Gamble
Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports
Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

To say that this is a make or break year for New York Jets wide receiver Stephen Hill would be a gross understatement. The Jets drafted Hill with the 43rd overall selection in the 2012 NFL Draft despite his collegiate career lacking a lot of substance. Hill impressed everyone with a strong combine and with his raw ability to make plays while at Georgia Tech. However, that raw ability has yet to translate into production at the NFL level.

Hill appeared in 12 games with 11 starts last season and caught 24 passes for 342 yards and only one touchdown. That was hardly what the Jets were hoping for after a rookie season that saw Hill catch 21 passes for 252 yards and three touchdowns. Of course, last season, the Jets were breaking in a new quarterback last year but Hill still was known more for his drops than his big plays.

With Hill’s speed he should be stretching defenses and causing match-up problems with his size. As Jets fans know all too well, that is not the case. Instead, Jets fans have been subjected to drop after drop instead of big plays. Not all of it is Hill’s fault but he certainly remains a raw prospect and has shown no signs of translating size and speed into production. He comes from a college program that ran the triple option and passing was an afterthought. Still, after two seasons it would be nice to see some progress.

The Jets and Hill will be entering the third year of their union and the time is now for Hill to finally justify why the Jets drafted him. I would be remiss if I didn’t admit that I wrote about Hill being a steal for the Jets in the second round. So far, he is making me out to be a fool. That doesn’t mean he won’t be a good NFL wide receiver but the window is certainly closing. Even if the Jets decide to keep the window open expect them to draft a wide receiver, or possibly two, this May.

Eric Decker is in and Santonio Holmes is out which should help. The Jets also feature a potentially potent running game with Chris Johnson, Chris Ivory and Bilal Powell which should free up the passing game a little. There are no excuses for Hill anymore. The talent is there but Hill hasn’t been. That either changes this season or Hill will have to try on another football team.

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