Sep 22, 2013; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets wide receiver Stephen Hill (84) catches a pass against the Buffalo Bills at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

New York Jets' WR Stephen Hill: An Unfortunate Comparison

Two years ago, the Jets chose Stephen Hill with their second round pick. It was a curious choice in a lot of circles. He showed a lot of physical tools in college, his speed, and his average per catch. He showed a lot during the combine, especially with his 40 yard dash speed (4.36 seconds). There certainly was a lot of excitement around the pick.

But there were questions. The fact was that at Georgia Tech, Stephen’s alma mater, he did not get to catch a lot of passes. They primarily ran the “Wishbone” style, which didn’t give Hill a lot of experience. There were players available such as Alshon Jeffrey, but don’t get me started there.

The Jets drafted Hill, and have high hopes for him.

The problem, however, is that he has trouble running routes, and catching the football. Clearly, these are skills that an NFL wide receiver must have. Hill has terrible hands, and catches the ball with his body. This has never been the method for a successful NFL wide receiver.

He started eight of eleven games in his rookie year, and 11 out of 12 games this past year before being shut down due to injury.

Take a look at his stats:

Season Team Receiving Rushing Fumbles
G GS Rec Yds Avg Lng TD Att Yds Avg Lng TD FUM Lost
2013 New York Jets 12 11 24 342 14.3 51T 1 1 1
2012 New York Jets 11 8 21 252 12.0 33T 3
TOTAL 45 594 13.2 51 4 0 0 0.0 0 0 1 1

He has shown some flashes with a few long touchdowns, but not showing any consistency, any signs of becoming a complete wide receiver.

Unfortunately, this brings back some memories. If you don’t know this guy, ask your parents or an older Jets’ fan relative. They will remember, I promise.

In 1980, the Jets chose a player with the second overall pick in the draft, with a very limited career as a college player, but was a gold medal sprinter. Does any of this sound familiar?

Take a look at this guy’s first two seasons with the Jets:

Lam Jones

Year Team G Rec Yds Avg Yds/G Lng TD 20+ 40+ 1st FUM
1981 New York Jets 15 20 342 17.1 22.8 47T 3
1980 New York Jets 16 25 482 19.3 30.1 55 3

Aren’t these numbers unfortunately similar to Stephen’s? Who is this guy you ask? His name is……

Lam Jones was a player that came to New York with high expectations. Unfortunately, those expectations were not to be realized.

Lam Jones was a player that came to New York with high expectations. Unfortunately, those expectations were not to be realized.

Johnny “Lam” Jones. Sorry to fans that remember him. But, it’s an unfortunate comparison that is legitimate.

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  • Paul Newbold

    The most unfair comparison that Hill has endure is to that of another Georgia Tech receiver named Calvin Johnson. The Jets gambled that they would get the same dramatic results with Hill when they drafted him. To Hill’s credit, he’s had to learn the NFL game from scratch, he’s had to learn two different offensive systems, an has been thrown to by two under performing quarter backs! Add to that the fact that he’s struggled through several injuries and has hasn’t had a true receiving corp to work with since arriving. I understand the disappointment, and some of the criticism he has received along the way. But from all reports from the Jets organization, Hill has worked hard at improving his game. I just finished reading the “open letter to stephen hill” posted here and find it despicable! That isn’t a sports piece, its a disgrace! I hope in the future the Jet Press use more discretion then to allow a writer to call out a player in such a public manner! Shameful. Your piece at least points to stats, and gave Hill the benefit of the doubt.. Yes Hill hasn’t developed at the pace most of us would like, but he’s a young man who deserves better then to be treated like that for “crushing” someone’s dreams!

    • Alan Schechter

      Hey Paul,
      I saw that you weren’t a big fan of the “Open Letter”. I typically don’t stop my writers from writing whatever they like, and he is free to express his opinion just like the rest of the staff here.

      In other news I am not a big follower of college so I didn’t even realize that Megatron was from the same school. He may be working hard, but he just doesn’t seem to be getting any better, at least in my opinion. That’s why he takes all of that criticism, fair or unfair.

  • Vincent Hall

    My first thought when I read the title was you were going to go with Darius Heyword-Bey that Oakland drafted because he could run a 4.3. Hopefully with another season, Mornhinweg will find a better way to use him to maximize the things he can do.

    • Alan Schechter

      Agreed Vincent.

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