Stephen Hill draft projection

Draft expert Mel Kiper thinks former Georgia Tech wide receiver Stephen Hill would have been better served staying in school, but gives him a chance to get into the third round of the NFL draft.

“He’s going to need a strong workout to be a guy that goes on Day 2,” said the ESPN analyst, referring to the second and third rounds of the draft. At worst, Hill would go between the fourth and seventh rounds, he added.

When Hill requested an evaluation from the NFL draft advisory board, he was told that he did not have the potential to be drafted in the first three rounds. Working to Hill’s benefit is that he has the capability to impress NFL scouts in a workout. As a high school senior at Miller Grove High, Hill set the state high school long jump record.

Kiper said he was surprised when Hill decided to leave Tech after his junior season shortly after the Yellow Jackets’ season ended because another year could have elevated him “maybe in the first-round discussion.”

“I thought staying at Georgia Tech would have been a benefit to him,” he said.

Among other Tech’s other draft-eligible players, including defensive linemen Jason Peters and Logan Walls, linebacker Steven Sylvester, A-back Roddy Jones, safety Rashaad Reid and wide receiver Tyler Melton, Kiper said he did not have any of them with a grade would ensure them being drafted.

123 comments Add your comment

GT Fan

January 23rd, 2012
9:35 am

I wish him the best, but he’s going to feel like a fool if he doesn’t get the nod from a single team.

juvenal

January 23rd, 2012
9:40 am

get that education!

Techmate

January 23rd, 2012
9:45 am

I am sure he is a good kid. If he is not feeling the love right now on The Flats, it is probably because he has had an inconsistent career there. The one handed catch he made early in the season shows his potential. But is he mature enough mentally and emotionally for the next level? I wish him the very best.

pontevedrajacket

January 23rd, 2012
9:51 am

I guess Hill didn’t learn from Jerrard Tarrant’s experience. Didn’t Tarrant leave after his junior year and not get drafted? Cut by the NY Giants. He could’ve elevated his stock with a good senior season. These kids are so impatient.

gt4ever

January 23rd, 2012
9:57 am

The wheels are falling off at GT. I can’t really blame him for leaving…

J W

January 23rd, 2012
9:58 am

Well, anywhere between 3rd round and 7th round (or lower), , , Kiper really went out on a limb, didn’t he. And people rely on him as their “expert source”?!

Good luck, Stephen. But don’t forget to get that education! Of the names mentioned here, I think Jason Peters may have best chance of achieving good positioning and a solid pro-career.

George Stein

January 23rd, 2012
10:09 am

Yep, gt4ever. We should just completely stop playing the games.

FL Jacket

January 23rd, 2012
10:11 am

I think Stephen Hill will surprise many at the Combine with his mix of speed and athleticism. His toughness, willingness to block, and ability to make a highlight reel catch are all on tape. What will set him apart is his ability to run routes and adjust routes on the fly…luckily these are things that can be taught.

BigTimeTechFan

January 23rd, 2012
10:24 am

@FL Jacket

Agree, I say he moves up to late 2nd or 3rd round.

William Satterwhite

January 23rd, 2012
10:26 am

“Well, anywhere between 3rd round and 7th round (or lower), , , Kiper really went out on a limb, didn’t he. And people rely on him as their “expert source”?!”

Because all the NFL teams have different needs and different approaches to evaluating players, that’s about the most people like Kiper can say and keep any kind of credibility- Kiper can rank the players just based on pure talent, skill level and potential but once you get out of the first two rounds that matters less as teams start focusing on filling specific needs.

Personally, I’m not sure Hill could have benefited from another year in school. At this point, the primary knock on him is going to his hands and his route running and those are things he has a better chance of showing off at the combine and in workouts than he would another season at Tech- I love PJ’s offense but there just simply isn’t a large enough volume of throws or variety of routes for another season’s worth of tape to make much difference in evaluating him.

GT fan

January 23rd, 2012
10:38 am

Hill was a track star & triple jump champion in high school. Tons of supposed talent he was bringing to GT, yet we never saw it. Now he’s supposed to be a player at the highest level of football one could ever reach?

I hope I’m wrong, but I just don’t see it from Hill.

GTBob

January 23rd, 2012
10:43 am

I think Hill will get drafted in probably the 5th or 6th round. I don’t really see him having an NFL career though. Hopefully he proves me wrong.

FL Jacket

January 23rd, 2012
10:47 am

Expecting Stephen Hill to be drafted where BeyBey was drafted is not fair. Hill has a skinnier frame than what is considered “prototypical” WR size.

And since when was getting drafted in the 3rd round if the NFL draft considered bad??

yellow britches

January 23rd, 2012
10:56 am

Based on the NFL playoffs, it appears the running game is just about over. Short passes, crossing patterns, long ball threat has all but eclipsed the run. Hill should have stayed another year assuming he was making his grades but you have to wonder if he felt he was going to get better by staying with a scheme that essentially left him out in the cold. I just don’t have a warm and fuzzy about Tech football. Wish I could say otherwise.

Buzzer

January 23rd, 2012
10:57 am

Stephen needs to work on catching the ball. He makes tough catches and misses easy ones. NFL Teams don’t need receivers who can’t catch.

SansWorld

January 23rd, 2012
11:02 am

Satterwhite is right.
He potentially could put up bigger numbers and get some attention in 2012, but he really is not going to develop more as a receiver.
His fate will depend on how he does in the combine. Impossible to say where he will be drafted now. With his body he will at least get a spot on a practice squad, and potentially move up ala Joshua Nesbit.

I wish he would have stayed, because he was our sole big threat receiver and good have continued to improve is numbers.

SansWorld

January 23rd, 2012
11:06 am

He seems like a nice, if unfocused kid, Good luck to him at this point.

Buzzed

January 23rd, 2012
11:11 am

Satterwhite: I think Kiper’s main point is that Hill isn’t 1st or 2nd round. It’ll all depend on who wants to take a chance on a potential ‘project’. And how does anybody think a WR is going to get any better with one more year at a non-passing school? He might fill out more, but that’s about it (unless he also gets his degree). His high per-catch average is more due to the element of surprise than great pass-catching ability.

FootballNut

January 23rd, 2012
11:20 am

yellow britches said it in a nice way. Hill is thinking CPJ’s 80 year old offense scheme will most likely get him nowhere in another year. He might as well get out there and start trying now. If you watched any pro ball these past couple of weekends, the games were won by PASSING and KICKING. Neither of which CPJ thinks is important at all. How many games did we lose to passing and kicking. The answer is all our losses!

crackbaby

January 23rd, 2012
11:29 am

Good Luck to Stephen Hill.

Not getting drafted isn’t all that bad – he will be able to choose a team to tryout for as undrafted free agent. Teams will take a look at him. Hill will need to excel in camp to earn a roster spot but he could be a Marques Colston type success.

Ed

January 23rd, 2012
11:34 am

When he goes to camp and drops those passes right in his gut, it will be like a punch to the gut. I don’t see him going before round 4. Then you have to make the team that drafts you and 4-7 rounders are not top priorities. Now had he stayed one more year and made rounds 1-2, which was likely, he would have gotten some guaranteed money. He’s not guaranteed anything now and worst he threw away a free degree from a prestigious institution.

GIVE ME A BREAK

January 23rd, 2012
11:38 am

Looks like a big mistake. What’s the rush?

Seriously folks

January 23rd, 2012
11:40 am

If the NFL is your goal and there is a remote shot at being drafted or becoming a free agent its better to go and test the waters instead of trying to develop under this “1AA” staff.

Jay

January 23rd, 2012
11:40 am

Wrong he could have stayed and showed that he can catch the friggin ball.

“love PJ’s offense but there just simply isn’t a large enough volume of throws or variety of routes for another season’s worth of tape to make much difference in evaluating him”

that is pure bunk. look at the facts. gt receivers get just as many passes as a receiver at a school like uga because they throw to like 6-7 guys whereas gt throws the ball primarily to 2 players. there’s a reason why there’s no returning players with any catches. you actually do get balls thrown at gt. being able to catch them is another thing. in hills case it was both. he dropped too many and many were uncatchable. why leave with a new set of qb’s coming in? unless he feels it will be tevin again which i hope not. i can’t see how vad is not going to be better than him this year. tevin’s only good win is against clemson and even that looks so so now after how clemson played to end the season.

OldSchoolTechFanatic

January 23rd, 2012
11:41 am

He has got the size and the speed, but does he have the heart and the hands? Good luck !

Rick James

January 23rd, 2012
11:43 am

He will be fine..

Seriously folks

January 23rd, 2012
11:46 am

Jay, You should check stats , Hill had 28 receptions for the year, UGA had 3 receivers with 45 or more catches and another with 32. No WR don’t get the touches in PJ offense.Its the main reason he can’t recruit a WR .

sharecropper

January 23rd, 2012
11:48 am

Look, guys. It just turns out that what Stephen Hill wanted most out of school was him. It is no more complicated than that.

Uh, Ed...

January 23rd, 2012
11:50 am

…it is highly doubtful that Hill “threw away a free degree from a prestigious institution”…he was about to flunk out, anyway, from what I understand…

Jay

January 23rd, 2012
11:58 am

Seriously you obviously lack reading comprehension. since when is a pass a catch. i didn’t say Hill caught as many. I said it was THROWN his way as many times. All the passes hill dropped and ones he couldn’t catch–if you add those up, it is near what a uga receiver gets.

Hayseed Dixie

January 23rd, 2012
11:58 am

Most of you guys, like your wives, don’t actually watch football. You just emotionally respond to the score.

CPJs offense gets a receiver into man coverage quite often. He’s supposed to make the play at that point.

How often was Hill in those situations? How often did he convert those opportunities?

I know the answer, cause I actually watched the games.

Since you arent actually *watching* the game, some of you ladies need to get back in the kitchen and make me a sandwich.

sharecropper

January 23rd, 2012
11:58 am

Uh, Ed may have something though we will never know. What we do know is that he had academic issues last year and went to summer sessions to get his GPA up to compete. Some people are cut out for college, some aren’t. But the fact is the last we knew he was eligible. He just wants out.

PureEvil

January 23rd, 2012
12:02 pm

The wheels are falling off at GT.

How long have they been falling off???? GT has had similar outcomes to seasons for the past 15+ years.

Jay

January 23rd, 2012
12:03 pm

And to further my point, I would guess there was 1 drop by hill and 2 passes on average per game that were so badly thrown, no way he could catch them. 3 x 12= 36+ 28 64. Gt’s top two receivers, if they had a qb and can catch the ball, would get around 60 catches per year, which is significantly more than you would get at uga or another passing team. Put Vad in and let it rip.

Richard Hungwell

January 23rd, 2012
12:06 pm

Wish him good luck but it is really a dumb move for a wide receiver with pro aspirations to even consider Tech and fish faces offense!

William Satterwhite

January 23rd, 2012
12:09 pm

“gt receivers get just as many passes as a receiver at a school like uga because they throw to like 6-7 guys whereas gt throws the ball primarily to 2 players.”

Georgia Tech’s top 2 wide receivers combined for 45 receptions this past season- UGA’s top two wide receivers both had over 45 receptions each and UGA’s #3 wide receiver had more receptions than Hill (and that’s not counting the TE Orson Charles whose role in their offense would translate to a WR since PJ’s offense has no tight end- he also had 45 receptions by himself). Those are facts. But even if Tech wide receivers were to get as many passes as other non-option schools, the more important thing here are the actual routes being run and how they translate to the kind of routes NFL teams will want to see their receivers run- putting up gaudy numbers just running deep outs with an occasional screen pass is good enough to get a receiver’s name on the board and attract some hype but NFL teams are going to want to see more.

No one says GT doesn’t throw the ball enough for receivers to get enough attention to get drafted, that much is a given at this point. The question is, can a receiver actually show enough at GT to improve on his draft stock from one year to the next? When NFL scouts and talent evaluators say a receiver has to work on this or that, will another year in Paul Johnson’s offense actually provide the game tape to show those scouts that the receiver has indeed improved upon those areas?

Tech Fan Since 1950

January 23rd, 2012
12:11 pm

Come on guys in high school and college freshmen, sophomores, juniors, seniors at whatever school you are attending in college—-stay in school and get that degree unless you are a guaranteed first rounder. Be smart! Yes, I know many kids face family and financial pressures and they have to do what they think they have to do. BUT, be smart. That college degree and advanced degree means more every day, unless you have a special skill set designed for life and not just to make money five or six years.

HighTech

January 23rd, 2012
12:13 pm

I saw nothing but potential in Stephen Hill. I am sure he was more frustrated than we were at the dropped passes. Wish nothing but the best for Stephen Hill. It will be his opportunity to show what he can do at the combine.

SoCal_GT_Fan

January 23rd, 2012
12:15 pm

From a physical standpoint, Stephen Hill passes the test. He’s got the measurables that I think scouts and NFL staff would like (6′5″ 205 lbs, approx. per ramblin’ wreck.com). On tape they see a physical WR who is willing to block and does make some tough catches….. But also drops his share of passes as well. Scouts likely would like to see him add another 15 lbs to his frame..

So he would be considered “raw” or a “project”. But I think catching the ball can be taught and I’m sure someone out there will take a flier on him especially if he does well at the combine (not just at the physical tests like the 40 yard dash but also the passing test). Doubt he’ll find himself in the top 2 rounds with a slew of guys going this year who have resumes that look much better (blackmon, jeffery, Floyd).

A team like the Steelers or Ravens might like his set of skills since they both like to mainly run the ball and like to have their receivers block. He’ll still need to add more muscle and be more consistent in the passing game but he does have a very good chance of getting drafted no doubt. Always a team out there that thinks they can coach anyone up to be pro bowler and/or draft a player that passes the “eye” test and has the physical “measurables”. Textbook case => Mike Mamula.

SoCal_GT_Fan

January 23rd, 2012
12:16 pm

At any rate, Good luck Stephen Hill and make us GT alumni proud!!!!!!

William Satterwhite

January 23rd, 2012
12:21 pm

I wish the NCAA actually kept track of dropped passes like the NFL because I’d be interested to see if Hill actually did drop a disproportionate number of balls compared to other receiver prospects or if our vision of this is just clouded by the fact that he received relatively fewer opportunities to make plays.

buzzwax

January 23rd, 2012
12:24 pm

Hungwell – Bey Bey Thomas was the FIRST WR DRAFTED in 2010 out of GT’s offense because he had major skill AND learned how to BLOCK!! Between Nesbitt and Washington, GT’s offense has not had an accurate passer. WHEN this happens, WR in this offense will get PLENTY of opportunities to catch the ball and showcase their talent. Hill LED THE COUNTRY in yards per catch this year despite Tevin having a poor year throwing the ball and despite dropping several ‘easy’ balls.

Tevin may win the QB battle as a returning senior starter in 2012 but I wouldn’t be surprised to see Vad Lee push him. Vad Lee can THROW THE BALL. ALL GT recievers are going to look better in 2012 due to either an improved Tevin Washington or better thrower in Vad Lee PLUS an improved OL with all two deep but Phil Smith returning!!!

So, Hungwell, you don’t know what you are talking about!!!!

Birmingham Jackeet

January 23rd, 2012
12:26 pm

What an absolute joke.

He has about as much chance of going pro as Walls.

Jay

January 23rd, 2012
12:27 pm

William is another who can’t think logically. Add up SH’s catches, drops AND balls poorly thrown and they will come in right at the average a uga top receiver gets.

Outside Observer

January 23rd, 2012
12:30 pm

I agree with you SoCal, I think Stephen Hill will be drafted in the seventh round by a team that likes to run the ball, appreciates his athleticism, and wants to see if he can develop his catching ability and route running. I think he has the potential, but he needs to mentally get it together. He certainly has all the physical tools to be very successful.

Seriously folks

January 23rd, 2012
12:30 pm

Jay get real Pj offense will never have 2 receivers with 60 catchs , With D. Thomas is 09 they only completed 78 passes, PJ will never recruit a D Thomas caliber receiver.

Denny

January 23rd, 2012
12:33 pm

Heck he probably averaged two drops per game Jay.

slydog

January 23rd, 2012
12:35 pm

Stephen Hill has a draft projection? Really? All I can say is for every 10 Calvin Johnson’s there is at least one Victor Cruz and Marquis Colston. I wish him the best but let me tell you what I think. Mr. Hill feels like GT’s offense will only make his “stock” go down even further. All of a sudden whatever CPJ sold him about their passing game, he now knows it was hogwash and he’s nothing better than a decoy. On a side note, the one-on-one matchups this offense creates, Hill never took advantage of them like Bey Bey. Plus, the NFL “minimum” roster salary or the practice squad check is 7 x more than the average worker makes anyway. He can always go back to any school if things don’t work out. Can’t blame him for trying though.

Gorilla Biscuit

January 23rd, 2012
12:35 pm

Kiper looks like a third-string vampire.

Seriously folks

January 23rd, 2012
12:38 pm

Jay, to accomplish what you ask, Pj would have to have QB complete 71% of his passes, thats a huge jump form the 38% , 46 % and 49% averages over the past 3 seasons.Those are RG3 , Andrew Luck type % and there isn’t that type talent at tech at WR or QB nor will there be with PJ offense.