The 2013 season for the New York Jets will be a season of change. With the firings of Mike Tannenbaum, and Tony Sparano, and the uncertainty of who will be under center for the team, many issues that ended the Jets season this past year are still lingering.
One main concern resides at the receiving position, specifically with the return of Santonio Holmes from an injury, and Stephen Hill, the rookie who many have considered to be a bust. Hill, drafted in the second round out of Georgia Tech, had 5 receptions for 89 yards in the Jets week 1 win against the Buffalo Bills. After that game, he didn't record a single reception for the next 3 weeks. Hill finished with 21 receptions for 252 yards and three scores for the season.
Hill battled with injuries throughout the season, specifically with his hamstring, until he injured his knee, in which he had surgery on recently. He will be healthy for the 2013 season, but will he be playing?
Hill came from a Georgia Tech offense that rarely through the ball. Hill only had 28 receptions in his final college season, most of them wide open down the field for a touchdown. In his scouting reports, Hill is recognized as a deep-threat who thrives when going up for the ball. His route running is sub-par, mainly due to the reason of coming from a program like Georgia Tech. He also is recognized as having great body control, especially up in the air, and for having great hands. I repeat, he is known for having great hands.
Tell a Jet fan that, and they will laugh, hysterically. Hill dropped many balls in his first year as a Jet, the most prominent coming against the New England Patriots in a critical third down play in which Hill was wide open, yet, dropped the ball.
Despite his inconsistent catching abilities, and injuries throughout the season, Stephen Hill definitely had some bright spots. I definitely think he has some potential, and if he sprouts up as a strictly deep-threat receiver, I think the Jets could become a real good receiving core.
Whether they keep Holmes, or draft another receiver, the combination of Hill, (if he meets his potential), Jeremy Kerley, and one of those two scenarios (Holmes/Drafted rookie), the Jets, in my opinion, should not see the wide receiver position as a major concern. Hill could become the next Demaryius Thomas, and if that’s the case, that would be great for the New York Jets.
Thomas, a guy that was drafted in the first round of the 2010 NFL Draft, had a great debut, with 8 catches for 97 yards and a score, battled many injuries for most of his first two seasons. Now, Thomas is as dangerous as any other receiver, and Peyton Manning has only made him better. Thomas and Hill both have major similarities, both having big games in their debut in the NFL, and then battling injuries for most of their rookie season.
The New York Jets and Jet fans can only hope that Hill’s similarities with Thomas continue into his second season, hopefully emerging to the type of player that he is supposed to be.