Tag:Calvin Johnson
Posted on: January 5, 2012 7:50 pm
Edited on: January 6, 2012 3:33 pm
 

Yellow Jackets stung by Hill's surprise NFL leap

Despite catching just 28 passes in 2011 and receiving an unfavorable grade from the NFL's Advisory Committee, wide receiver Stephen Hill has decided to leave Georgia Tech for a shot at the pros.

According to Ken Sugiura of the Atlanta Journal Constitution, Hill came to the decision after conferring with his parents, head coach Paul Johnson and receivers coach Buzz Preston. Hill's grade was not specifically given, but reading between the lines of Sugiura's report it sounds like the scouts graded Hill as a possible day three (rounds four through seven) pick.

Johnson's triple option offense rarely puts the ball in receivers' hands. Georgia Tech's scheme calls for big, athletic and strong receivers who can sneak downfield for the occasional deep pass but whose primary role is to provide blocking on the perimeter. Like former first round picks Calvin Johnson and Demaryius Thomas, the 6-5, 206 pound Hill has the bulk to certainly catch scouts' attention. At that size, if he were to run anything lower than a 4.60, he'd have a shot at getting drafted. And if he were to run considerably faster, Hill's stock could improve in a hurry as he's certainly shown flashes of playmaking skills.

While Hill only caught 28 passes in 2011 they resulted in a gaudy 820 yards. That means Hill averaged 29.3 yards per reception. That led the nation and is the best YPC average in Georgia Tech history.

The concern is that Hill remains a very raw receiver. Not only do his routes need a lot of work, so does his hands. Hill made some notable drops over his career. To be fair, he's also demonstrated spectacular leaping ability and rare hand strength to make some dazzling catches. Prior to his "breakout" 2011 performance, Hill caught just 15 passes in 2010 and four as a redshirt freshman.  For his career, Hill caught 49 passes for 1,248 yards (25.47) and nine scores.

Knowing that he lacks the experience catching the ball to impress scouts, Hill acknowledged that his ultimate draft grade may hinge on how he works out.

“With my size and my ability, I know I could raise my stock,” he said.

NFLDraftScout.com has some faith in his ability to do so. He was ranked as our No. 6 wide receiver prospect in the class of 2013.






Posted on: February 17, 2010 10:24 pm
Edited on: February 21, 2010 1:30 pm
 

Thomas' broken foot robs Combine of great athlete

Few prospects had been earning more buzz in the scouting community in the weeks leading up to the Combine than Georgia Tech wide receiver Demaryius Thomas. The 6-3, 230 pound Thomas had reportedly been timed in the 4.3s during workouts at Athletes Performance Institute, adding further fuel to the litany of comparisons he's enjoyed over his career to former teammate Calvin Johnson.

Unfortunately, the broken foot he suffered Wednesday will keep him working out for scouts at the Combine, and may keep him from working out for scouts before the draft at all. With some teams operating team drills as soon as a week after the draft, itself, Thomas may not be able to participate until training camp.

Thomas' role in Paul Johnson's triple-option offense was primarily as a deep threat. He was rarely asked to run anything more complicated than a go route or quick slant to take advantage of his size advantage over opposing cornerbacks. Considering his relative inexperience as a route-runner, pre-draft workouts were likely as important to securing Thomas' rightful place in the 2010 receiver class as they were for any other pass-catcher.

Thomas, due to his size and pure athleticism, appeared to be one of the most intriguing stories of the Combine.

He'll still be among the Combine's most intriguing storylines -- due instead with what teams see in the x-rays taken of his left foot.

Posted on: October 7, 2009 5:44 pm
 

Ridicule Crabtree now, he'll make you a believer

I am as disappointed in the lengthy holdout by Michael Crabtree and his agent Eugene Parker as anyone. The decision to do so netted very little -- if any -- extra money and robbed Crabtree of the opportunity to have the breakout rookie campaign that his unique skill and San Francisco's need for a playmaking wide receiver made seem possible.

That said, for those of you who enjoy badmouthing professional athletes and some of their dubious decisions, laugh now, because Crabtree has the kind of talent to rival Larry Fitzgerald and Anquan Boldin as the premier pass-catchers of the NFC West division -- and he could do so within a year from now.

In ten years of scouting there is only one receiver I've seen with more natural talent than Crabtree and that was Calvin Johnson.

Prior to the draft, NFLDraftScout.com rated Crabtree as our top-rated prospect. I stand behind that assessment and applauded San Franciso for their decision to take him with the tenth overall pick.

I recognized the issues that came with Crabtree. His holdout, while longer than anticipated, surprised no one.

But believe me when I tell you, that among the scouting community, no one will be surprised when this kid develops into a Pro Bowl receiver, either...
 
 
 
 
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