Jets move up to grab WR Hill in second round

Jets vice president of scouting Joey Clinkscales compared Hill, left, to fellow Georgia Tech receiver Calvin Johnson.

Last year, the Jets lacked a home run-type wide receiver to stretch the field.

On Friday night, the Jets moved up four slots in the draft, trading the No. 47 pick along with fifth- and seventh-round selections, to the Seahawks to get Hill. The move does come with some pause, however, as Hill’s resume is a tad light.

Hill, a two-year starter for the Yellow Jackets, had just 49 career catches and nine touchdowns as the main target in Georgia Tech’s run-heavy, option offense. Hill proved his athleticism in March at the NFL combine and excited scouts with that dangerous word: “Potential.”

He was tied for the best time among wide receivers in the 40-yard dash at 4.36 seconds and boasts a 39.5-inch vertical jump. In Indianapolis, Hill’s stock went from a mid-round selection to a top-50 player.

“I feel great, especially now that I’m in more of an offense where I can catch the ball a little more, and catching the ball from Mark Sanchez will be great,” Hill said.

“I’m ready to go, ready to learn; I’m a quick learner.”

The trade up to select Hill makes sense on many levels for the Jets and new offensive coordinator Tony Sparano. Not only is Hill a deep threat, having averaged 29.3 yards per catch his final year at Georgia Tech, he also is an excellent blocker. The past two years, the Jets have had big body receivers in Braylon Edwards and Plaxico Burress who were capable of run blocking down the field.

But for now, Hill is just excited to be part of the Jets.

“I really enjoyed playing with the coaches at Tech,” Hill said. “Now I’m ready to go with coach Rex Ryan because I know he’s a big, big winner.”

One NFL scout, speaking to Metro New York on the condition of anonymity, raved about the selection of Hill. There’s risk involved, he said, but he fully endorsed the pick.

“I like what the Jets did here, moving up. Perhaps they overpaid, but they got a player who fits what they need. Hill isn’t just a niche guy; he can do more than just run down field. He’s an outstanding blocker,” the scout said.

“I also have concerns about his overall strength, but I think he can add something to this offense. If I’m running back Shonn Greene then I’m very excited about this pick.”

In the third round, the Jets selected linebacker Demario Davis out of Arkansas State. The 6-foot-3, 230-pound Davis had 70 tackles last season as a senior and seven sacks and four interceptions in his college career.

The athletic Davis is known for his ability to cover receivers in space, something that could be very useful against the Patriots’ duo of Aaron Hernandez and Rob Gronkowski.

“I covered tight ends a lot. I covered wide receivers as well,” Davis said in a conference call after the selection. “I think one of the things the coaches liked [was] that I could go out there and cover in space. I tried to show that when the coaches came down to work me out and I guess everything worked out well.”

The Jets’ next pick won’t come until the sixth round at No. 187 overall. They also have four compensatory picks — two at the end of the sixth round and two at the end of the seventh round. Compensatory picks cannot be traded.


Follow Jets beat writer Kristian Dyer on Twitter
@KristianRDyer for continuing offseason news.


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