With Jerome Simpson's legal and productivity issues, the Bengals are expected to be searching for a number two receiver in either free agency or the draft. One possibility to fill the number two receiver position may be Georgia Tech receiver Stephen Hill. Newly-hired assistant coach, Hue Jackson, was seen at the Georgia Tech Pro Day on Tuesday and Hill's athletic skills were on display. Jackson spent the 2004-2006 seasons as the Bengals receivers coach. He was brought on this offseason to be an assistant secondary coach and assistant special teams coach.
The Bengals sent Jackson to Georgia Tech for good reason. They could potentially be interested in Stephen Hill with pick number 17 or 21, given their need and with Jackson's career including stints as an offensive coordinator and receivers coach, he surely knows what he's looking for. NFL Network draft analyst Mike Mayock seems to like what Hill has to offer:
"I think he’s just kind of overwhelming from a height-weight-speed-upside perspective. I think he runs too well and catches too well to get out of the first round, in my opinion"
Many draft experts have likely raised Hill in their receiver rankings due to his impressive combine. Hill posted an unofficial 4.3 40 time. That 40 time would be impressive for anyone, but Hill is 6-foot-4 and weighs 215 pounds. When Hill asked the NFL for a draft evaluation, they told him he would likely not be taken in the first three rounds. Hill has likely proved them wrong with his electric combine and a solid Pro Day. Hill got 12 of 12 passes thrown to him on Tuesday, continuing his positive momentum going into April's draft.
He follows in the footsteps of great receiver prospects at Georgia Tech, as Calvin Johnson and Demaryius Thomas were both taken in the first round. Johnson may be the league's best receiver and Thomas finally started to realize his potential this past season. Georgia Tech runs a triple option offense, so receivers do not generally get too many looks and it makes analyzing these prospects very difficult. Hill had 28 catches for 820 yards and five touchdowns last season, averaging nearly thirty yards per catch.
The Bengals need as many weapons as possible for young quarterback Andy Dalton to work with. They could take Notre Dame receiver Michael Floyd at pick 17, if he is still available. Floyd would fit the west coast offense perfectly and be a good compliment to A.J. Green. Hill has a lot of potential, but do the Bengals have the time and know-how to let him figure out how to use his immense talent? Do they want to use another high round pick on a wide receiver in consecutive years? A free agent receiver is also a possibility to fill the number two spot, though Geoff Hobson recently deemed that possibility as remote.
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