Stephen Hill is ready to run fast. The former Georgia Tech wide receiver will fly up to Indianapolis today for the NFL draft combine.
“I’m feeling great,” he said. “I’m ready to go.”
“Not nervous at all,” he said, and he sounded it. “This is something I’ve been dreaming about and something I’ve been ready for.”
Since declaring for the draft Jan. 5, Hill has spent most of his time at the IMG training facility in Bradenton, Fla. He worked out with other draft hopefuls such as quarterback Russell Wilson from Wisconsin, quarterback Kirk Cousins and Rutgers wide receiver Mohamed Sanu. The training is principally for the combine, Tech’s pro day (March 6) and individual workouts with teams. He also spent a week in Atlanta getting tutored by former Falcons wide receiver Terance Mathis.
Among those training him in Florida was renowned speed coach Loren Seagrave. Hill said he plans to do all of the tests at the combine.
“My 40 time has improved a little bit,” Hill said. “It’s going to be interesting.”
“I want to run a 4.4,” he said. “But I feel like I can run a 4.3.”
At last year’s combine, four wide receivers ran in the 4.3 range (including Falcons draft pick Julio Jones) and 11 in the 4.4 range (including former Georgia star A.J. Green, now with Cincinnati). Hill said he wants to also put up a 40-inch vertical, which six wide receivers did at the 2011 combine.
“I know I’m going to turn some heads in the 40,” he said, “but mostly I just want to show that I can show the change of direction in the 5-10-5 (short shuttle) and the L-cone drill.”
The combine is a four-day process that includes thorough physical exams, measurements, interviews with teams and the workouts. The wide receivers begin Thursday and end with the workout drills Sunday.
The draft evaluation that Hill requested from the NFL prior to declaring said that he did not have the potential to be taken in the first three rounds. NFL Network draft analyst Mike Mayock pegged him as a fourth-rounder. ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr. said that a strong combine could lift Hill into the third round, but that he could go considerably later. The website nfldraftscout.com, a source I tend to put stock in, ranked him the No. 7 wide receiver and a possible second-round selection.
Hill said he’s not dwelling on where he might go in the draft.
“I just take it day-by-day,” he said. “I have to go to Indy to pro day and pro day to individual workouts. That’s just how I’m taking it.”
Thanks for reading.
Ken Sugiura, Georgia Tech blog