2012 NFL Draft: Why Stephen Hill Will Slip out of First Round

Steven MarinoContributor IIIMarch 28, 2012

Stephen Hill is a 6'4" wide receiver from Georgia Tech. Last season with the Yellow Jackets, Hill had 28 receptions for 820 yards and five touchdowns. Throughout his career at Georgia Tech, Hill compiled 1,248 yards, nine touchdowns and 49 receptions. But despite these gaudy numbers, his lack of polish will cause him to slip out of the first round.

Hill's biggest game this past season came on opening day when he torched the Western Carolina's defensive backs for 181 yards and two touchdowns. Hill also produced another monster game against the North Carolina Tar Heels when he had 151 receiving yards and one touchdown.

With Hill's large frame he has above average height as a receiver in the NFL, which has many scouts drooling at his potential. However, his top-end speed is sub par.

With a 6'4", 215 pound frame, Hill certainly has the height and weight to compete in the NFL, but his technique could use some critiquing. His route running has been questionable and he has been known to not drop his hips low enough to explode out of cuts, which has provided struggles for Hill's ability to separate himself from defenders.

Hill has large hands to wrap around the football but has had problems with dropping passes due to his habit of catching with his body instead of his hands. Hill has also had the tendency to take his eyes off the ball before receiving it.

Hill has been inconsistent on big play ability, although he has been known to have tremendous upper body strength and good hand eye coordination when making a big catch running at top speed. It is after the catch that affects him, as Hill tends to run slower than he would without the ball.

Besides his receiving ability, Hill is not as an aggressive, eager blocker that coaches would hope for. He doesn't put the same effort and urgency into every route he runs, which is a major factor in the NFL.

Hill has tremendous upside to his game. With his large frame and hands, Hill can turn into a great NFL receiver. Working with NFL personnel on his technique and working out hard in the weight room to bulk up will help him adjust to the professional level.  

With a quarterback-heavy draft, as well as one stocked with defensive backs, I see Stephen Hill slipping out of the first round come April.