Player to Watch - Stephen Hill

Nick Laham

Today we'll take a look at a player that everybody should keep an out for this weekend against the New England Patriots.

So far this season, Stephen Hill has had one great game, one good game, two terrible games, and two games in which he sat on the bench with a hamstring injury. Our raw young receiver from Georgia Tech has, get this, eight catches on the season, three of which are touchdowns. Now that he is seemingly healthy and ready to play, his timing couldn't be more impeccable.

One of, if not the, biggest problem the New England Patriots are having are their struggles defending the deep passing game. They have given up 33 pass plays of 20 or more yards, nine of which have gone for touchdowns, worst in the league. They have given up fifteen passing touchdowns, tied for last as well. Generally, their cornerbacks struggle when a wide receiver can force them to turn their hips and cover deep, and the Patriots are currently starting two rookies at the safety position, Tavon Wilson (second round draft pick) and Nate Ebner (sixth round draft pick) due to injuries to Patrick Chung and Steve Gregory.

That is where Hill comes in. He's undoubtedly raw, but this week is where Hill needs to make his bones. His 4.36 40 yard dash, which tied him for second for fastest at the combine, is going to help him try and get behind the defense and blow the top off of it. His height, at 6'4" gives him a big advantage over the Patriots' defensive backs, the tallest of whom is 6'1", but most of whom are 5'10"-11". It's going to be up to Hill to capitalize on his measurables and deliver the sort of game that we saw week one against the Buffalo Bills. For that reason, Stephen Hill is a player to watch.

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