Heading into the weekend, there was a bit of pre-combine hype about Stephen Hill, the big Georgia Tech receiver whose statistics in the Yellow Jackers' triple-option offense were merely "eh" but whose measurables were off the chart. Today Hill turned that buzz into full-fledged hype with a blistering 40-yard dash.
Hill on Friday measured 6-4, 215. On Sunday his two unofficial 40 times were a blazing 4.3 and 4.31 seconds. Considering those measurables and Hill's toughness, you have to wonder whether he has run himself into the first round and whether, along with LSU's Rueben Randle, he should be a consideration of the 49ers at pick No. 30.
As we've been discussing for the last month, this draft is full of big-bodied receivers. What will separate them is, well, their ability to separate. That's something that was missing from the 49ers' wideouts at key times last season and something they will be seeking in the draft.
Hill's showing today confirms what was available on the relatively small amount of game film he supplied from Georgia Tech's run-heavy offense. He caught only 28 passes last season for 820 yards. But his yards-per-catch average was a gaudy 29.3.
"I really don't speak to a lot of the guys because I'm out here trying to do my thing," he said when asked if there's a competition among the big-bodied wideouts in Indianapolis. "But other than that it's going to be a lot of competition. All the guys are cool but I'm trying to go out there and run the fastest 40."
So far so good.
Randle and a host of other wideouts, including Granite Bay's and Fresno State's Devon Wylie, will run later today. I'll have a compilation of all the 40 times by day's end.
-- Matt Barrows