Stephen Hill poised to prove NFL draft advisory board wrong


When Georgia Tech receiver Stephen Hill decided in January to forgo his senior season and enter the NFL draft, it would have been easy to label it a mistake: Hill caught just 49 passes in his college career while playing in an option offense that barely used the wide receivers at all.

In fact, the NFL draft advisory board told him it was a mistake: The San Francisco Chronicle reports that the NFL draft advisory board told Hill he had no chance to be selected in the first three rounds. The board is made up of personnel people who know how NFL teams view college players, and for the most part they do a pretty good job of letting players know whether they’re viewed as first-round picks, or middle-round picks, or late-round picks, or if they’re unlikely to be drafted at all.

But what the board can’t do is predict how a player is going to perform at the Scouting Combine, and when Hill put on a show as the most impressive receiver in Indianapolis, that had personnel people who had previously not paid a lot of attention to Hill going back and looking at more film, and what they saw is that Hill only caught 28 passes last season, but he averaged a whopping 29.3 yards a catch. And they saw that while it’s true that the Georgia Tech receivers don’t get a lot of passes thrown their way, when they are running pass routes they’re doing the same things that NFL receivers do. That’s what Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson said in defending Hill as a pro prospect, and that’s what Georgia Tech receivers coach Buzz Preston says.

“It kills me when they say NFL routes,” Preston said. “I look at the NFL and they’re not doing anything that we aren’t doing. They’re doing the out cut. They’re doing the oval route. They’re doing the drag. I mean, doubles moves – we do all that. It’s always funny how people talk about the NFL passing game. . . . I’m confident the young man can run any route they want him to run in the NFL.”

And Hill was confident — despite what the draft advisory board told him — that he was going to be a high draft pick. Tonight he can prove the NFL draft advisory board wrong.

28 responses to “Stephen Hill poised to prove NFL draft advisory board wrong

  1. The kid did have some drops, but when you see 3 balls a game, there is a tendency to get bored, lack game experience and then to get anxious when you finally do see a ball. Most of his drops were wide open routes, when play action had fooled everyone. Those are the hardest to catch because the ball is in the air forever. (experience talking) His upside is unbelieveable.

  2. Considering that Bleacher report compared him to Calvin Johnson, Cleveland would be crazy not to grab him at 22. His potential is sick

  3. Great point about Georgia Tech receivers not getting many balls thrown their way and not being “pro-ready”. That guy Calvin Johnson graduated from tech, and what a bust he’s been!

  4. As a Bills fan I was hoping Hill fell to Buffalo in the second round. Its sounding less likely that it will happen now, but this kid looks like he can play. Will probably still need a year or two to adjust, but that’s the case with 95% of receivers.

  5. San Francisco could have an EXPLOSIVE passing game next year if the 49ers select him, or if he is even available, at 30. He won’t have to come in and be the #1 guy, he will take the top off any coverage, he is a miss match for defenses, he is a great run blocker (being from GT), and he also has returned kicks and punts in college. This guy has 49ers written all over him. Plus, you only signed Ginn to a one year deal and if he doesn’t work out then Hill can fill his shoes in the return game and I believe Hill has the ability to be a dominate force in the NFL for years to come. Let’s also not forget that the last two WRs from GT to go in the 1st round were Calvin Johnson and Demaryius Thomas. Both big bodied guys who tested off the charts at the combine, just like a Hill did. Let get him at 30 FRISCO!!! That should be a no brainer.

  6. The draft advisory board can not predict the future. This is not news. It is significantly better for them to underestimate how high a player will be drafted. If this is the best example of them making a mistake, then they deserve to be lauded.

  7. Despite the Combine hoopla being raved about, many poeople are overlooking the greatest aspect of Hill and WRs in the Georgia tech option offense – WRs HAVE TO BLOCK.
    Hill will do very well in the NFL. if someone like the Texans takes him in the first round, he will help the running game as much as the passing game.

  8. I’m a Lions fan. Yes, I know we don’t need WR’s but, man, him opposite Calvin Johnson with Pettigrew at TE and Burleson rotating with Titus Young in the slot?!!!! That’d be something else.

    And, yes, Hill is about to prove many wrong. The Kid can play. And practicing with Calvin Johnson and Demetrius Thomas is a pretty smart move too.

  9. This is one case where the draft advisory board would not be particularly useful. Because they can only make their recommendation based upon game tape, it would be hard for them to evaluate a receiver in that type of offense.

  10. @qdog112

    I agree, 15 years playing football here and you speak nothing but the truth! I dropped a few over my short career of HS and college and most came off play action. Also, in HS my teams offense was a run based offense so one can get a bit lackadaisical at times running and blocking. Then when you’re finally called on…..OOPS!

  11. At one point in his final year at Ga. Tech, Stephen was surprised to see a brown, oblong, cylindrical object moving through the air in his direction. Whether out of curiousity or fear, he instinctively put up his hands to trap or deflect it.

  12. Any team that takes Hill in the 1st round is taking a HUGE, – strike that -, an ENORMOUS risk.

    Before he blazed the 4.3 40 at the combine Hill was a going in round 3, 4, or 5. Now he impresses in shorts and track shoes and he’s being considered in the first round!


    High risk/High reward

    High ceiling/subterranean floor

  13. patriots55 says:
    Apr 26, 2012 7:04 AM
    He will do amazing in the nfl


    I agree, but will it be amazingly good or amazingly bad?

  14. Who lays out for a pass at the NFL combine? I seen Hill do it and catch the ball.

    He is going to cause a lot of corner backs a lot of problems. The real deal…..

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