Many, many people think Georgia Tech wide receiver Stephen Hill was one of the big winners of the combine. He checked in with a great 40-yard dash time and has a huge frame. That makes for an intriguing prospect late in the first round, much like former UAB prospect Roddy White ended up with the Falcons.
However, the question remains...why was Stephen Hill not more highly ranked heading into the season?
Well, for one thing, he's still pretty raw as a route runner. Checking the SB Nation Georgia Tech site, From the Rumble Seat, it seems Yellow Jacket fans aren't surprised by how fast he ran, but these fascinating articles from that site really show more about him.
I mean, the dude from the first article said he wouldn't be surprised if Hill went undrafted! Now he's a first round pick??
What I do like is this article on him from the end of the 2011 season. It highlights Hill's rawness in the passing game, but it also highlights his blocking skills downfield. That's going to be a huge asset in the Texans opinion of him because of what the Texans ask their receivers to do in the running game.
Still, 28 catches is 28 catches. That's less than fellow Yellow Jacket Demariyus Thomas did in the same offense and he took a year and a half before even making a dent in a bad Denver team. What's more, after Thomas went to the NFL, Hill only had 15 catches in 2010. That's 43 catches in two seasons, plus a reputation as having the dropsies last season.
These are not good things, people, especially when discussing a possible first round pick. I think that while his athleticism is impressive, tape will tell and Hill will probably fall a bit to the end of the second round. Still, that seems much higher than he was expected to go after declaring, so maybe he'll be happy with that.