A little harsh? Maybe, but if there was ever a time to place an even stronger emphasis on those pretty red flags and character issues that feed narratives and can’t possibly be quantified, it’s now for the Jets. There’s a stench in that locker room, and everyone pretty much hates everyone.
Character could have been at least a partial motivator for the Jets that prompted them to move up four picks in a trade with the Seahawks to take wide receiver Stephen Hill, with Seattle receiving fifth- and seventh-round picks. But the far greater goal was to bring in a receiver who could challenge Santonio Holmes, and can stretch the field with some degree of consistency. The fact that Hill isn’t a jerk is a nice bonus.
Hill was in an option offense at Georgia Tech, which means that he won’t need to adjust when Tim Tebow enters the game. He may need to adjust his hands and body to wayward wobbling ducks, but that’s another matter. As a result of that offense, Hill wasn’t utilized nearly as often as you’d expect for a receiver with his size and speed, catching only 28 passes last year.
But that’s where writers and people on TV who yell and laugh too much can use numbers for a narrative. Yes, we do that sometimes, mostly because it’s easy. Hill may have finished with only 28 receptions in 2011 after being used minimally, but he still had 820 receiving yards, meaning he averaged a ridiculous 29.3 yards per catch.
That’s some serious vertical ability which will open up the middle for Dustin Keller and ease the pressure on Holmes, forcing opposing defenses to spread out their coverage.
After the Rams started the round with some oddness in the form of Brian Quick well ahead of Hill, the leaping for wide receivers continued when Chicago traded up to the Cowboys’ slot at No. 45 to land Alshon Jeffery, a smaller but shifty wideout who’s ideal for the slot. Between Jeffery and Brandon Marshall, Jay Cutler is out of excuses.