Stephen Hill had a forgettable two years with the New York Jets, which is why he was cut. The hasty exit of the 2nd round pick just shows how dangerous the NFL draft can be.
Size-speed element drew Jets to Hill over Alshon Jeffery
How did it happen? How did New York not see what Hill was? Well, for the same reasons there are so many busts in every draft class each year. They saw what they wanted to see and dismissed the red flags as either correctable or inconsequential. For Stephen Hill his drawbacks involved not playing traditional wide receiver at Georgia Tech largely due to their triple option scheme. So already he was coming in raw. Throw in concerns from scouts that he had very inconsistent hands and it was enough to create pause.
Then Hill got to the scouting combine. It started with the measureables. Hill was a rangy 6’4” with 33-inch arms at 215 lbs, great size for a receiver. That alone made him interesting. Running the 40-yard dash in 4.36 seconds is what did for many teams, but specifically the Jets. A big receiver who can run fast? Already visions of Randy Moss were likely dancing in their heads. Just like that the kid was the hot name rising up draft boards and on Day 2, in a deal with the Seattle Seahawks that involved an extra 5th and 7th round picks, New York traded up to grab Hill. It’s worth noting that Alshon Jeffery was taken two spots later.
So what happened? The great equalizer. Speed. It’s very likely that if Hill hadn’t run that fast 40 at the combine, New York would’ve held off on being so aggressive for him. After all, if they had stayed patient and wanted speed, they could’ve “settled” for T.Y. Hilton in the 3rd round.
Instead they did what so many do in the NFL draft every year: they went for the home run and struck out.