May 4, 2012; Florham Park, NJ, USA; New York Jets wide receiver Stephen Hill (84) catches ball during minicamp at the Jets Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Jim O'Connor-US PRESSWIRE
Few were as critical of the Draft the Jets had as ESPN's Rich Cimini. It is thus striking to see him write positive things about second round pick Stephen Hill at rookie camp today.
Stephen Hill shined. He demonstrated explosiveness off the line of scrimmage and didn't drop any passes. He made a circus catch in 7-on-7s. There was one borderline drop on a deep route down the left sideline, on a nice throw from QB G.J. Kinne, but Hill later said it was out of his reach. New O.C. Tony Sparano chided him once for "choppy" steps in a particular route, but the overall first impression of Hill was positive.
This does not mean a ton. These drills are not games. I remember stories of Kellen Clemens lighting up practices. It is still good to hear that Hill is performing well. The Jets do not need a ton from him. They need him to be able to get down the field. He can punish defenses who do not respect his speed with a safety. He can draw coverage to give Santonio Holmes help. He can make a defense think twice about putting eight in the box to open things up for the run game. He is very raw, but all the Jets will ask him to do is use his speed to get deep, essentially the thing Braylon Edwards did two years ago.