Let's start with the basic statistics of I-A receivers taken in the NFL Draft. 124 college wide receivers have been drafted in the past four NFL Drafts. 84 of them were from BCS conferences (67.7%) while 13 of them were from the ACC (10.5%). The average college receiver was taken 126th overall (4th round) while the average ACC receiver was taken 90th overall (3rd round). The average receiver drafted from a I-A football team averaged 61 catches on the season, 879 yards, and 7 touchdowns. For comparison's sake, Demaryius Thomas had 46 catches, 1,154 yards, and 8 touchdowns. If you wish to continue, click the jump...
The first thing that strikes me as the biggest indicator of receiver's draft stack (statistically speaking) is catches. How many highlight reel plays can he put on film and give to an NFL scout? No receiver has been drafted in the past four seasons with less than 30 catches in Division I-A football. None. Stephen Hill...28 receptions. This is good enough for 287th most receptions amongst 2011's Division I-A receivers.
Out of 110 Division I-A wide receivers drafted, the lowest yardage total in the last four drafts was Patrick Williams out of Colorado with 322 yards on the season. Stephen Hill had 820 yards receiving in 2011. This would have ranked him 58th in yardage amongst receivers drafted since 2008. The sad fact of this story, however, is that 99 receivers eligible for the 2008-2010 Drafts had more receiving yardage than Stephen Hill and went undrafted. Hill currently ranks 67th amongst 2011's Division I-A receivers in total receiving yards.
The average Division I-A receiver drafted from 2008-2010 had around 7 to 8 receiving touchdowns and 14.2 yards per catch. Stephen "Big Play" Hill is probably going to hang his hat on these stats in his interviews. He scored a touchdown every 5.6 receptions as opposed to the average drafted receiver scoring a TD every 8.4. That's 49% faster. He racked up an amazing 29.3 yards per reception, which was 105% longer than the average drafted receiver's yards per catch at 14.2. Hill's agent is probably going to force the "Hill didn't get enough balls argument" down every NFL teams' throats over the next few months. I guess Stephen Hill is just going to have to explain how Demaryius Thomas racked up so many more catches in the exact same offense.
My prediction is that he is a very late round pick or undrafted. He may have some measurables but I think the rawness will be too much for NFL teams, the lack of production hurts him a lot, and the drops certainly don't help. He is literally 5 or 6 ugly drops away from being a legitimate receiver pickup in the 2012 NFL Draft. Do you have any thoughts on the matter?