Mark Sanchez has a new target.
Hill fills a huge hole for the Jets, who needed a No. 2 wide receiver to replace Plaxico Burress. Hill can now play opposite Santonio Holmes in the Jets offense and give Sanchez a fast-moving target downfield.
At Georgia Tech, Hill averaged 29.3 yards per catch last year as a junior, the best in Division I. His numbers were limited, though. He only caught 28 passes and had five touchdowns in the Yellow Jackets’ triple-option attack.
GONNA FLY NOW: Wide receiver Stephen Hill of Georgia Tech meets the media last night after being selected by the Jets in the second round of the NFL Draft at Radio City Music Hall in Manhattan. With 4.31 speed in the 40, Hill figures to give opposing defenses plenty of fits this season.
Hill, who said he was thrilled to be a Jet, met with the team three times — at his pro day, in a private workout and in a visit to their Florham Park headquarters.
“Oh, man. I was happy,” Hill said. “We actually had a lot of conversation and I felt really home there.”
The Jets gave up their own second-round (47th overall) fifth-round (154) and seventh-round (232) picks to move up to the 43rd selection overall. The Jets desperately needed a wide receiver in this draft after getting little production from the position last season.
NFL DRAFT: ROUNDS 1-3
“We really wanted him,” Jets general manager Mike Tannenbaum said. “Once he was within striking distance ... we felt like that was appropriate value for us.”
Hill is a deep threat with 4.31 speed. He is considered to be a good blocker after playing in the run-heavy Georgia Tech offense. That will be a plus for the Jets, who are planning on getting back to being a run-first team with Tim Tebow and Co.
“[I bring] a lot of big plays down the field and getting big touchdowns at the right time, of course,” Hill said. “I think I can bring a lot, especially blocking. I can definitely put somebody on their butt.”
A source said yesterday the Jets were planning on targeting a receiver in the second round despite needs at several positions. By trading up, they showed they clearly did not want to miss out on Hill.
“He’s a unique athlete,” vice president of college scouting Joey Clinkscales said. “He really is. Calvin Johnson, maybe. I’m not going to put that label on him but from a height-weight-speed moniker. He’s just a unique athlete.”
The negatives on Hill are his limited experience running a conventional offense. He did not run a full route tree at Georgia Tech and will now need to learn an NFL offense. Hill impressed teams with his performance in the pre-draft process to make up for his limited on-field production.
The Jets selected inside linebacker Demario Davis from Arkansas State with their third-round pick (77 th overall). The Jets chose him instead of an offensive tackle or safety, two need positions. He is projected as a special teams contributor immediately and an eventual starter.
After the trade, the Jets are left with five picks today, and do not pick again until the sixth round.
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