If the mock drafts are to be believed, former Georgia Tech wide receiver Stephen Hill is going to be either a Houston Texan or San Francisco 49er. I don’t put a great deal of credence in mock drafts; it seems like they tend to mirror one anther and rely on conventional wisdom, which isn’t usually how teams actually pick. Plus, one surprise pick at the top or middle of the actual first round can change everything down the stream.
Regardless, what I take from it is that Hill will likely go in the first round or early in the second, which, as I’ve written before, is remarkable considering that his draft evaluation said that he didn’t have the potential to go in the first three rounds.
The logic with Houston is that wide receiver is considered a “need” position. Starters Andre Johnson and Kevin Walter will both turn 31 before the season starts. Johnson has missed 12 games in the past two seasons. The 49ers had needs at wide receiver, but signed Randy Moss and Mario Manningham, and re-signed Ted Ginn Jr. Moss is obviously a question mark and Ginn has 31 catches in the past two seasons with San Francisco, so one could say the need is still present.
On nfl.com, three have Hill going at No. 26 to Houston, another slots him with San Francisco at No. 30 and one doesn’t have him in the first round.
Sports Illustrated’s Don Banks gives Hill to San Francisco. ESPN’s Mel Kiper also pegs Hill for the 49ers, as does his colleague Todd McShay, who wrote that Hill had “one of the most impressive combine workouts I’ve ever seen from a receiver.” (Both ESPN mock drafts are behind a pay wall.)
Two more mocks on cbssports.com place Hill in San Francisco and out of the first round.
He’s generally considered the fourth receiver in the draft, after Justin Blackmon from Oklahoma State, Notre Dame’s Michael Floyd and Baylor’s Kendall Wright.
The first round of the draft is April 26.
Ken Sugiura, Georgia Tech blog