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Rex Ryan sees some Keith Jackson in Stephen Hill

keithjackson Getty Images

In 1988 the Eagles, coached by Buddy Ryan, drafted Oklahoma tight end Keith Jackson even though Jackson had played in an option offense and caught just 13 passes during his senior season. Jackson ended up being a Pro Bowler as a rookie, and five more times in his NFL career as well.

Jets coach Rex Ryan hopes rookie receiver Stephen Hill can be the same kind of player.

Ryan said on ESPN Radio in New York that he thinks Hill has the athletic makeup to have an instant impact in the NFL, even though he’s coming from an option offense at Georgia Tech in which he caught just 28 passes last season.

“I think, first off, Stephen Hill, the first thing that jumps out at you is obviously the size and speed and everything,” Ryan said, via SportsRadioInterviews.com. “This is a size, speed league. But it’s more than that as well. This guy can play. The numbers, he only had like 28 catches or something like that, but it’s in that option offense. And he did average 29 yards a catch. It kind of reminds me of when my dad took Keith Jackson when he was with the Eagles. I think Keith Jackson only had 19 catches and I think he made the Pro Bowl his first year as a rookie. Hopefully that will happen here with Stephen. He’s got incredible potential for us and we expect him to contribute for sure.”

Jackson was one of the great tight ends in college football history and was considered much more of a can’t-miss draft prospect than Hill is today, but it’s not a bad comparison: Jackson showed that an NFL team can take advantage of a rookie’s talents even if that rookie played in a college offense that failed to take advantage of those talents. The Jets can only hope Hill has the same kind of impact as Jackson.

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20 Responses to “Rex Ryan sees some Keith Jackson in Stephen Hill”
  1. jenniferxxx says: May 1, 2012 1:01 PM

    The rest of us are seeing Darrius Heyward-Bey.

  2. whatnojets says: May 1, 2012 1:03 PM

    Can Stephen Hill play the quaterback position?

  3. nyj69 says: May 1, 2012 1:11 PM

    The rest of us are seeing Darrius Heyward-Bey? Well, Bey had just under 1000 yards last season under WR coach Sanjay Lal who is now coaching for the Jets

  4. cylondetector says: May 1, 2012 1:14 PM

    Rex Ryan’s players can be sure they’ll never be short of verbal fellatio from their permanently over-excited HC.

    How about having these guys play even a single pre-season snap before annointing them as having anything close to a passing resembelence to some great Pro players??

  5. AlohaMrHand says: May 1, 2012 1:18 PM

    WHOOOAAAAA NELLY!Itll be a slobbeknocker today at the granddaddy of them all!!!!Wait,wrong one

  6. rc33 says: May 1, 2012 1:18 PM

    Well then…
    “Whoa Nellie!!”

  7. warrenmoon says: May 1, 2012 1:22 PM

    But the question is, can he intercept a football thrown to the defense?

  8. pustizzi85 says: May 1, 2012 1:26 PM

    How does he compare to Heyward-Bay? Please explain…..most of you so-called “fans” just read blogs and believe what you read. Have you seen the kid play? If you are referring to their speed only you are an idiot

  9. wwwfugu says: May 1, 2012 1:26 PM

    I love it when boys say ” my dad”.
    It’s like comfort food gone all emotional.

  10. selldannysell says: May 1, 2012 1:29 PM

    Whoa, Nellie!

  11. wludford says: May 1, 2012 1:35 PM

    If I’m Stephen Hill, I’ve not happy to be compared with a TE when I’m supposed to be a Calvin Johnson.

  12. RexCanCoach says: May 1, 2012 1:38 PM

    You must also consider that the Jets are returning to a run-first offense, and the right side wideout needs good size and blocking skills which is also what Stephen Hill brings and why the Jets drafted him.

  13. maxvv says: May 1, 2012 1:41 PM

    You can always count on jenniferxxx to sneak in a cheap shot, even if it doesn’t make any sense.

    I absolutely love the Hill pick. He’s a perfect fit for the weird hybrid double-QB option offense thing the Jets seem to be building and adds an instant deep threat, which they were lacking last year.

  14. drbrousters says: May 1, 2012 1:44 PM

    Buddy and Rex always have had the best players in the league, the best team in the league, the best defense in the league…Just ask them. What they have in reality is the biggest mouths with the fewest Lombardi trophies in the league.

  15. bamboozle99 says: May 1, 2012 2:10 PM

    All the good WR’s in the draft went to teams who can’t throw.

  16. profootballwalk says: May 1, 2012 2:22 PM

    He’ll make a great target for Tebow’s Hail Mary passes.

  17. mistersmith22 says: May 1, 2012 3:34 PM

    “Our defense is unstoppable.”
    “Sanchez is a pro quarterback.”
    “We will lead the league in wins.”
    “We will win the Super Bowl.”
    “Santonio Holmes is the most talented player on the field,”
    “Vernon Golston will be a sack machine.”
    “We are a ground-and-pound team with Shonn Greene and Joe McKnight.”

    Clearly, Rex Ryan’s fortune telling abilities need some work. I’ll believe Hill is an All-Pro come February 2013.

  18. catquick says: May 1, 2012 3:56 PM

    Rex also added “I really like his feet….He’s got great toes!”

  19. stonecld33 says: May 2, 2012 1:43 AM

    What’s next he has hands like Jerry rice and can run routes like Tim brown.

  20. kappy32 says: May 2, 2012 3:16 AM

    WTF does Rex Ryan know about offense? Take his comments regarding offense with a grain of salt. This is the same guy who thinks Mark Sanchez is a franchise QB & that Tony Sparano is a good offensive coordinator. I think that says all that needs to be said on that topic; Hill will be a bust & out of the NFL in 4 years.

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