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No player made a bigger impression at the 2012 NFL Scouting Combine than Stephen Hill. Hill, who I had given a Round 3-4 grade to prior to the combine, now should be selected no later than the second round.
Hill only had 28 receptions last season, but this is a direct result of Georgia Tech’s triple option offense, in which the Yellow Jackets run the ball more than four times as frequently as they pass the ball. Additionally, Hill had the best yards per catch average among all qualifying receivers, with a whopping 29.29 yards per catch (eight YPC better than the next receiver).
There are definitely some serious questions with Hill: inconsistency, lack of receptions and lack of routes in Georgia Tech’s offense. That said, Hill’s combine numbers speak to his tremendous upside. Hill is 6’4’’ and 215 pounds yet ran a 4.36 second 40-yard dash, the best of all wide receivers at this year’s combine.
Hill had a vertical jump of 39.5 inches, and a broad jump of 11'1", but he also stood out in the on-field drills. Of the drills I had the opportunity to watch, Hill caught nearly every pass that came his way, making clean catches away from his body and displaying the ability to leap up and make plays on the football.
Hill’s combination of size and speed cannot be ignored. His measurables combined with the ability to catch the ball that he has displayed give him the potential to be a tremendous, Randy Moss-like deep threat at the next level. Given his combine performance, a coach will likely take a chance with the belief that they can develop him into a star.
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