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T.Y. Hilton: 6 Biggest Strengths and Weaknesses of NFL Draft Prospect's Game

Sean MerrimanCorrespondent IApril 18, 2012

T.Y. Hilton: 6 Biggest Strengths and Weaknesses of NFL Draft Prospect's Game

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    When talking about the fastest players in this year's draft class, it is impossible to start and end that conversation without mentioning former Florida International speedster, T.Y Hilton.

    This wide receiver/return specialist took the college football world by storm last season, ranking among the top wide receivers and kick/punt return men in the nation.

    We know that Hilton has the speed to succeed in the NFL, but what else makes him a special player? Does he have any noticeable flaws that he has to improve before taking that next step?

    Let's go ahead and break down some strengths and weaknesses of T.Y. Hilton's game.

    Bleacher Report Style!

STRENGTH: Track Speed

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    Many NFL scouts were excited to see T.Y. Hilton run at this year's NFL Combine, but he was unable to take part in the drills because of a quad injury he sustained in FIU's postseason bowl game.

    However, Hilton did take part in Florida International's Pro Day, where all 32 NFL teams were apparently on hand to see Hilton perform. He didn't disappoint as the speedster ran the 40-yard dash in the 4.4 range, with several teams clocking him as fast as 4.35 seconds in the dash.

    Hilton has blazing speed, which is an important aspect in the NFL. He is a smaller receiver, but whether or not he plays receiver at the NFL level shouldn't matter because he is a dynamic return man who can break a game open with his exceptional speed.

    You can't teach track speed and fortunately for Hilton, he has plenty of it.

WEAKNESS: Lack of Height

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    You don't necessarily have to have good height to play wide receiver at the NFL level, but it certainly helps.

    Hilton stands at just 5'10", 183 pounds, which is rather small for the position. But fortunately for Hilton, his selling point is that he is an exceptional return man, which should land him a spot on an NFL team regardless of whether or not he is asked to play receiver.

    If he does play wide receiver, Hilton has good hands and his speed makes him a great deep threat, but his lack of size prevents him from going over the middle much and contributing as a short-to-intermediate receiving option.

STRENGTH: Ton of Expereince

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    While T.Y. Hilton certainly didn't play his college ball at a powerhouse football program, he did get plenty of playing experience, which is one of the most important aspects in making the transition to the NFL.

    Hilton was a four-year starter at Florida International. He caught 55 or more passes in all four years and recorded more than 600 receiving yards in every season as well.

    One of the hardest aspects about making the transition from college football to the NFL is learning the complex playbooks. But with four full years of playing experience under his belt, Hilton should have a leg up on his competition in that category.

    This speedster has a fully-padded resume with veteran seasoning to go along with it.

WEAKNESS: Blocking

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    Blocking isn't the most important aspect of playing wide receiver in the NFL, but it is more valuable than people make it out to be.

    Because of his lack of size, Hilton struggles blocking bigger players, especially in the run game. He has a difficult time getting his hands underneath opposing defensive backs and using his strength to hold them off.

    As I mentioned earlier, all receivers don't need to have great size in order to be successful, but Hilton's frail frame, along with his lack of blocking skills, leaves several question marks for NFL teams going forward.

STRENGTH: He Can Do It All

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    During his college football career, Hilton has played every offensive skill position there is, and then some.

    This speedster has worked as an outside receiver, a slot receiver, a running back, a punt return specialist, a kick return specialist and even was involved as an h-back option in trick-play formations.

    In addition to his 3,531 career receiving yards, which is eye-popping in itself, Hilton has also rushed for nearly 500 yards and seven touchdowns in a Florida International uniform.

    This guy can simply do it all on the football field.

WEAKNESS: Lack of Competition

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    Florida International isn't exactly a powerhouse when it comes to college football. Because of that, Hilton hasn't experienced playing against top-notch competition in his college days.

    The closest thing to a powerhouse football program that Hilton saw in his senior season at FIU was Louisville, who finished 7-6 in the Big East Conference this past season.

    NFL scouts love this guy's upside, but it will be interesting to see how he does if matched up against Darrelle Revis or Charles Woodson.

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