If Justin Blackmon is off the board at six; I would not hesitate to select WR Stephen Hill, Georgia Tech 6'4 215.. Hill has been criticized for his lack of production. It is tough for me to criticize a WR who played in an offense that is built primarily off the run. When Tech played a tough Tarheel defense, they had to go to the pass. Hill was the main target; he did not disappoint: 6 recs, 151 yards, and a TD. When looking at games where he was not targeted , Hill proved to be a tremendous blocker downfield. The kid looked as if he enjoyed laying licks on defenders. Route running will be something that he has to spend time on. From what I saw of his workouts; he has the ability and willingness to improve. Hill does not seem content to rely soley on his physical skills. That desire to get better with the skills he has is impressive.
The combine numbers were impressive. A 4.36 forty for a man his size is outstanding. The number that truly impressed me was his 10 yard split: 1.20. This number indicates short burst off the line, and is a real indicator of explosiveness.
After the jump, there is a mock draft based upon the scenario that Blackmon is off the board, with The Rams staying put with the 6th pick in round one. After the selections, there are goals for both sides of the ball. Those goals impacted the draft prospects chosen..
1. WR Stephen Hill, Georgia Tech
2a. RB Doug Martin, Boise St
2b. OLB Zach Brown, N.C.
3. WR Marvin Jones, Cal
4. DT Akiem Hicks, Regina
6. FS Janzen Jackson, McNeese
7a. OLB Jerrell Harris, Alabama
7b. CB Chris Greenwood, Albion
When making this mock, I determined what goals I wanted to achieve. The players selected offer IMO; a better than average chance of acheiving these goals:
1. Improve the run defense from 31st to 19th.
Akiem Hicks is a sure tackler at the LOS. He can also make plays in the backfield. Janzen Jackson has good instincts and anticipation. He comes down hard from his FS position to make plays on the run. Jerrell Harris is a stout and physical tackler at the LOS. Unfortunatley for him he got stuck behind two potential 1st rounders in The Bama defense: Hightower and Upshaw.
2. Improve the pass defense.
Janzen Jackson is a very good coverage FS. He can cover RB's and TE's. Jackson can also come down and pick up WR's in the slot. He gets good breaks on the ball and has the ability to fool the QB and create INT's. Chris Greenwood is a solid man cover guy who can flip his hips and stick to a WR like glue. His size and tackling ability are a plus.
3. Improve the passing game.
Doug Martin is perhaps one of the best receiving backs in this years draft class. He demontrates reliable hands and solid route running. Marvin Jones offers reliable hands and adept route running. Stephen Hill brings size, physicalty, power, explosion, vertical speed, and blocking ability to the WR position. He can draw attention away from the receivers underneath; which can create opportunities in the short and intermediate areas of the field.