WR Stephen Hill not only doesn't play special teams, he also did not impress very much this summer. Couple those factors with Rex Ryan's lukewarm comments about Hill on Tuesday, and you have a second-round draft pick who isn't going to make it into this third season with the Jets.
The Jets famously took Hill two picks ahead of Alshon Jeffery. Now it looks like Hill may get cut.
Thursday, August 28, 2014, 1:17pm
One Jet who will play is wide receiver Stephen Hill, and his job appears to be on the line. The former second-round draft pick, a major disappointment in his first two years with the team, has just two catches for 29 yards in three preseason games. Fellow wideouts Eric Decker, Jeremy Kerley and David Nelson are locks to make the final roster, and coach Rex Ryan talked up Greg Salas and Saalim Hakim on Tuesday, and fourth-round pick Jalen Saunders is currently tabbed as the team's No. 1 punt returner. Hill better make some plays Thursday, or else his Jets career could be over.
Tuesday, August 26, 2014, 6:16pm
HC Rex Ryan wasn’t exactly reassuring to the former second-round pick Tuesday while being peppered with questions about Hill’s future during his daily press conference.
Based on Ryan’s comments, the combination of drops, injuries and the fact Hill doesn’t play special teams have put the speedy ex-Georgia Tech star in a precarious roster position going into Thursday’s preseason finale at the Eagles and Saturday’s final cutdown.
“He’s had some strong moments, but there are others where we wish maybe he had hung on to a ball or so,” Ryan said of Hill, a 2012 pick by former GM Mike Tannenbaum. “But he’s had a pretty good training camp. I don’t want to say it’s been outstanding, but it’s been pretty good.
Eric Decker, Jeremy Kerley and David Nelson look to all be ahead of Hill at this point on the Jets depth chart. Hill is buried down our WR list at 110th.
Saturday, August 16, 2014, 9:14pm
After going three-and-out on his first series, Jets QB Geno Smith marched the Jets up the field to a field goal during his next go-round. He threw a bad pick on his third series, though it's not clear whether it was his fault. And after a turnover gave him a short field, Smith led the Jets to a touchdown for the first time this season. He ended his night with a second touchdown drive.
By the time he handed the wheel to Michael Vick, Smith was 10 for-13 with 98 yards passing and an interception, plus four rushes for 21 yards and a touchdown. He worked six series and led the Jets to two touchdowns and a field goal.
Both TDs came against Bengal backups. All in all, Smith didn't force anything, according to the story, and he showed some of that willingness to run that made him so effective at the end of last season, and he delivered a few throws downfield fairly well, though Stephen Hill had to leap high to get one of them. Smith only threw deep once.
Saturday, August 16, 2014, 11:39am
Former Jets wide receiver Santonio Holmes has agreed to terms with the Bears, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter. The Bears visit the Jets in Week 3 – a Monday night game on Sept. 22. Both teams will be interested to see how much Holmes has left.
Holmes does not figure to be a major contributor initially for the Bears. Their top receivers are Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery, whom the Jets passed on in the 2012 draft, to select Stephen Hill. (To this point, Jeffery has been far more productive than Hill).
The Bears' second-string receivers are Marquess Wilson and Eric Weems, with Josh Bellamy and Josh Morgan occupying the third line on the depth chart. Wilson, the leading candidate to be the team's No. 3 receiver, sustained a broken collarbone earlier this month in a training camp practice. It remains unclear how long Wilson will be out, but the Bears don't expect to begin the season with him.
Sunday, August 3, 2014, 7:36pm
Jets WR Greg Salas almost seemed surprised by all the fuss.
Sure, he was perhaps the biggest star of the New York Jets' scrimmage Saturday night. But as far as the wide receiver was concerned, there was nothing unusual about his performance.
"This is what I do in practice," Salas said. "I make catches. I make plays in practice and I was glad I could come out here and do the same in this little scrimmage we had."
Salas is part of crowded competition to win a spot in the Jets' receiving corps. He had five catches for 54 yards in the practice that was dominated by the defense. He dropped a pass, too, but that didn't take away from a solid night. Eric Decker and Jeremy Kerley have jobs locked up, but Salas is among a group that includes Stephen Hill, David Nelson, Jacoby Ford, Clyde Gates and rookies Jalen Saunders, Shaq Evans and Quincy Enunwa competing for the last three or four spots.
Friday, August 1, 2014, 10:20pm
“Man alive, this offseason and into training camp, he’s taken a huge jump,” OC Marty Mornhinweg gushed about Hill. “You see that in many cases where receivers in this league, between the second and third year, they make a big jump. He’s certainly done that.”
Hill is nothing more than a late-round flier at this point in the offseason.
Friday, August 1, 2014, 10:56am
The three coordinators met the media for the first time in camp, and the most interesting takeaway came from Marty Mornhinweg, who gushed about the progress of the receiving corps, particularly Stephen Hill and Clyde Gates. Hill? "Outstanding," Mornhinweg said. Gates? "Pretty impressive," he said. Pardon the skepticism, but don't we hear that every year?
Kerley is a good late-round pick in deep leagues for owners who want someone trustworthy at that point in the draft. He's not going to set the league on fire, but he'll play and be reasonably productive.
Wednesday, July 16, 2014, 12:21pm
This is Year 3 for the Jets' talented, but inconsistent WR Stephen Hill, which means it's time to earn his scholarship. He showed positive signs in the spring, and he'll probably have a solid training camp. The problem is maintaining it into the season. The former second-round pick tends to fade when the pads go on, resulting in a Mr. August reputation. It's all there for him. He could win a starting job with a strong camp or he could play his way out of a roster spot if he regresses.
Monday, June 30, 2014, 8:42pm
The Jets have thus far stopped short of labeling the 6-foot-4, 215-pound Stephen Hill a bust, but they did make it a priority this offseason to upgrade their receiving corps, first by getting Eric Decker in free agency, then by selecting three more wideouts in the draft. The message was plain: By no means would Hill be guaranteed a roster spot in 2014.
That's not to say the Jets aren't still doing what they can to help Hill become the player they traded up four spots to get two years ago.
The priority for Hill, first and foremost, is staying healthy and getting his knees to cooperate. His rookie year was cut short by arthroscopic surgery on his left knee, and last season constant swelling in both knees eventually landed him on injured reserve again.
Hill also has to learn how better to use his speed. Part of the reason the Jets so coveted Hill during the 2012 draft was the blazing 40-yard dash time (4.36 seconds) he ran during the combine that winter, the story points out. But speed is only a part of effective route running for a receiver, and that will also be key in Hill's progress. For now, he's ranked just 91st on our list.
Tuesday, June 24, 2014, 11:53am
Brian Costello of the New York Post predicts that David Nelson will win the Jets' WR2 job: "Nelson is in the mix to be the team’s No. 2 wide receiver. The Jets have several guys fighting for the spot, but Nelson appears to be the favorite judging from OTA and minicamp snaps.
"The starting job is not guaranteed for Nelson. His roster spot is not even guaranteed. He is battling Stephen Hill and draft picks Jalen Saunders, Shaq Evans and Quincy Enunwa. But Nelson is a professional receiver, something those others have not proven, so I would give him the edge in winning a starting job."
The team has far more invested in Stephen Hill, and by most accounts he has had a great offseason and is fully healthy. Jeremy Kerley is probably the most accomplished receiver in the bunch, but the Jets may want to use him solely in the slot. This is a position battle to monitor during camp.
The race to be the Jets' No. 2 receiver has a long way to go, but Stephen Hill made a strong impression at minicamp. Not only did Hill perform on the field but he said all the right things in the locker room. He caught a lot of balls and didn’t have a drop. The rest of the picture is pretty murky: None of the three draft picks really stood out positively more than the others. Shaq Evans, back from finishing up a Scandinavian literature class at UCLA, had quite a few passes in his direction hit the ground. David Nelson also got some first-team work.
Jeremy Kerley is probably the most dependable of the group, but he's likely to man the slot, so the Jets may want to use Hill's size and speed on the outside.
Friday, June 20, 2014, 6:05pm
NJ.com listed Jets WR Stephen Hill as a "stud" in an article devoted to studs and duds: The 2012 second-round pick moved well and caught what was thrown to him. Can he finally keep it up when it's time to strap on the pads?
Friday, June 13, 2014, 5:59pm
Who's the Jets WR2? Don't be surprised if Stephen Hill (yeah, him) emerges as the starter opposite Eric Decker. Right now, I'd say the top candidates are Hill and David Nelson, figuring Jeremy Kerley will be in the slot. Clearly, this is a make-or-break year for Hill, who has yet to transfer his elite measureables into production. Hill did fine in the OTAs. but, remember, there was no press coverage (not allowed under CBA rules).
Even if Hill starts, Kerley is likely to have more fantasy value. He's a solid slot receiver and could earn more snaps on the outside if/when Hill falters.
Thursday, June 12, 2014, 5:26pm
"It's a little early to label him as a bust," wide receivers coach Sanjay Lal told the New York Daily News. "When I think of bust, I don't think of him that way. I have seen players who are higher picks that were busts because of their own laziness. Those are busts."
"I have a hard time labeling a guy a bust when he's done everything in his power," Lal went on. "Luck in terms of injuries hasn't been on his side. Therefore, he hasn't produced consistently. And he's still only 23 years old."
- Page 1