At a one-day camp for kids, and also on an Atlanta-area radio station, Denver third-year wide receiver and former first-round draft choice Demaryius Thomas conceded that he must continue to hone his route-running skills, and rookie wideout and fellow onetime Georgia Tech standout Stephen Hill can relate.
A second-round pick, the 43rd player chosen overall in April, Hill played in the same triple-option offense Thomas did with the Yellow Jackets, and faces a similar learning curve in picking up the nuances of patterns.
"We had all the same (routes) in college, but it's still a lot different," Hill, projected to start right out of the chute for the New York Jets, told The Sports Xchange. "There are adjustments, reads on the run, all the fine-tuning stuff, and you've got to develop a connection (with the quarterback). You can have all the (physical) skills in the world, but you have to get the mental and technique things down even more."
One of the fastest risers in the weeks preceding the draft, Hill posted just 49 career receptions at Tech, never more than 28 in a season, but averaged 25.5 yards for his career and 29.3 yards in 2011, and also averaged a touchdown every 5.4 catches.
He made some dazzling grabs in minicamps and OTA sessions, but also displayed some rawness, but the Jets need him to develop fast, given their lack of depth at wide receiver. The only proven veteran is the moody Santonio Holmes, and someone is going to have to step up opposite him. Of the 11 other wide receivers on the current roster, three are rookies and five are first-year players, and the other wideouts total only 21 regular-season starts.