It is impossible not to be excited about the potential of rookie wide receiver Stephen Hill. You don’t see an endless line of receivers who stand 6 foot 4, 215 pounds and still manage to run a 4.31 forty. The guy averaged over 29 yards per catch last season and is coming to an offense that couldn’t buy a 20 yard play last year. Yet, as the recent history of second round receivers shows, it might be wise to temper that excitement, especially when combined with the reality that Hill played in a triple-option offense and only caught 49 passes in 3 years at Georgia Tech.
Considering where he was selected, Hill is going to enter training camp as the de facto starter opposite Santonio Holmes at wide receiver. His size and speed has to be respected, despite being an unproven player and that will open up things underneath for Holmes and Dustin Keller.
But how can the Jets get the most out of him in his rookie season?
First off, despite being a “starter” don’t expect Hill to immediately play 65 snaps a game. There is going to be situations where Dustin Keller, Jeremy Kerley and Chaz Schilens are taking reps for certain plays in his spot and that is okay. Hill should gradually build up to a full workload as he masters the offense and every route in the playbook. It is unreasonable to expect a player out of a triple option to be polished on all the necessary routes.
Out of the gate, Hill is going to be a frequent target when the Jets look to get those “chunk” plays Tony Sparano has talked about. Mark Sanchez has shown an ability to throw the deep play action post well and Sparano won’t hesitate to call it. We know at a minimum Hill has the ability to run that and the “go” route.
Considering Sanchez’s comfort with the slant route and Hill’s frame, I’d look for him to be running a good amount of those early as well. He also has the speed to be utilized on a smoke screen where he can try to shake his defender 1 on 1. Look for the Jets to build Hill’s confidence early in the season by getting him a few easy receptions and then taking their downfield shots to him, particularly off the play action.
Hill is also a logical primary target in the red-zone. Mark Sanchez had excellent chemistry with Plaxico Burress inside the 10 yard line last season and there is no reason he can’t replicate that with Hill. You can bet if the Jets are turning to the “fade” ball, it will be Hill on the receiving end.
Overall, it would be illogical to expect high reception totals from Hill in this offense in 2012. At a minimum, he will be the third most frequent target behind Holmes and Keller. However, that doesn’t mean he can’t rack up a high yards per catch and pull in 6-8 touchdowns. The Jets would be wise to start him out as primarily as a deep threat and then gradually increase his reps as the season goes on with the hope of him starting to resemble a complete receiver by December.
Away from the primetime news and tabloids that will report daily on marquee names wearing the Green and White, are some Jets whose impact could truly be felt. Especially if they develop into next level players.
Or in the case of our choice at number five, are desperately needed to.
Baker is a tough and versatile H back who could end up part of the Ground and Pound rotation...
New York Jets backup quarterback Tim Tebow requested a hair stylist who doesn’t curse when he checked in at the Chris McMillon salon in Beverly Hills.
The squeaky clean, Christian, I’m-saving-myself-for-marriage NFL star was getting a haircut in preparation for the ESPY Awards.
According to Celebuzz, a client at the salon said, “He asked for a woman to cut his hair who doesn’t...
When the Jets selected NT Kenrick Ellis with their 3rd round pick in the 2011 there was considerable criticism. Ellis, a highly rated nose tackle prospect out of Hampton University by way of the University of South Carolina, had been suspended twice at South Carolina during his years there for violating team rules and had been arrested and charged with a felony at Hampton University...
Former New York Jets wide receiver Plaxico Burress says that quarterback Mark Sanchez struggled last season while dealing with a shoulder injury.
“He definitely has enough arm,” Burress said in an interview with WFAN radio, via ESPN.com. “He was battling some injuries last year, shoulder-wise that a lot of people didn’t know about … different things like that...
In the National Football League the quarterback gets way too much blame and way too much credit. Last time I checked Matthew Stafford does not block, tackle, or catch passes. There are many other players that toil in obscurity but yet must do their jobs well to at least get a victory in the National Football League every week.
However, it is important to have at least average...
Broncos wide receiver Demaryius Thomas initially was one of the most outspoken players in regards to how he felt about the departure of Tim Tebow.
He was happy to get a new QB but now...
Please click the link below to read this multimedia feature.
Toward the latter part of last season, Tim Tebow helped Demaryius Thomas make a name for himself. Though Tebow is oft-criticized for his passing skills — or lackthereof — he’s able to uncork a pretty decent deep ball, and Thomas, a speedster, has an uncanny way of getting open downfield.
During their improbable playoff run, the two connected on several big plays, most notably...
Serial celebrity dater Mark Sanchez has been linked to veteran jersey chaser Eva Longoria. The New York Jets quarterback has been spotted with the actress over the holiday weekend in and around New York City and neighboring Hoboken. With In Touch reporting Longoria even wore a blond wind to remain incognito.
The rumored romance comes just weeks after Longoria split with boyfriend...
Delivered to your inbox
receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web.
Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!
Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.