BGA: Scouting Jason Hill

Bent , TheJetsBlog.com

Yesterday, the Jets signed free agent wide receiver Jason Hill. Jets fans might not know too much about Hill, so I’ve been looking at game footage in detail to investigate what he could bring to the table.

Hill had signed with the Denver Broncos in the offseason, but failed to make the final roster and had been sitting unsigned since then. He’s been in the league since 2007, but never lived up to his initial potential after he set records at Washington State and ran a 4.32 at the combine, enticing the 49ers to draft him in the third round.

After the jump, I look in detail at footage from Hill’s time in the league to evaluate some of his strengths and weaknesses.

Who is Jason Hill?

Hill is probably best known, especially among Jets fans, for trash talking the Jets and Darrelle Revis prior to their game against the Jags last season. Hill was inactive and the Jags lost 32-3. However, he has plenty of NFL experience catching 70 passes for 1,028 yards and eight touchdowns. During his first season, he struggled with injuries, catching just one pass in five games. However, he started to emerge in his second season, ending up with a career best 30 catches. He caught four passes for 39 yards, making a couple of nice plays in a late season game against the Jets, where Shaun Hill led the Niners to a 24-14 win, putting a dent in the Jets’ playoff hopes. 2009 was a disappointment as he was mostly inactive and only caught nine passes and in 2010 he was waived, re-signed and then waived again by the 49ers, but was picked up by the Jaguars and did a pretty good job for them over the last few weeks. He caught 25 passes with the Jaguars last year in just ten games, which was second on the team. He also set career bests in yardage (367) and touchdowns (3). Even so, he was released at the end of November, as the Jaguars decided to give more playing time to some of their younger receivers.

The Numbers

Five seasons
50 games
13 starts, of which 10 were in 2011
76 catches, 1,028 yards, eight touchdowns
13.5 yards per catch (10.1 with SF, 17.1 with Jacksonville)
63% catch rate (83% with the 49ers, 49% with the Jags)
Five drops, of which four were in 2011
Two carries for five yards (nine yard gain and four yard loss)
One fumble (not lost)
One kick return for 30 yards
17 special teams tackles, including 10 in 2008, three missed tackles, one penalty
Five drawn penalties, Four offensive penalties committed
15 20+ yard plays and three 40+ yard plays

Already we can infer some things just from the numbers. Hill can clearly make some long plays (check the highlights Bassett posted earlier to see some of these), but he can also operate effectively as more of a possession receiver type. His horrible catch rate numbers in Jacksonville can be partially attributed to the struggles of Blaine Gabbert, but the book on him in 2011 was that he didn’t emerge as the number one receiver they were hoping and he dropped too many balls – with many of them apparently coming on slant patterns – which was unusual since drops had never been an issue with the 49ers. We also know Hill is confident, maybe irrationally so, based on the Revis comments.

Observations

Based on all the regular season footage I watched, here was my take on what Hill brings to the table, divided into categories:

Usage – In 2008, he was primarily a slot receiver, but in 2009, 2010 and 2011 he was mostly on the outside. With the Jets, I’d expect him to remain in that role.

Deep threat – Hill’s career numbers on throws more than 20 yards downfield are 8-for-23 for 282 yards with three touchdowns and two interceptions. That’s not actually a bad percentage (35%) when you consider that both Braylon Edwards and Santonio Holmes were at 30% in 2010. In fact, Hill’s percentage was much higher than that entering last season, but he was just two for 10 on throws more than 20 yards downfield by Gabbert. To see Hill going deep, see Bassett’s clips from earlier, which comprised a 74 yard touchdown and a 37 yard gain on plays where there was a coverage breakdown and a 48 yard touchdown on a play where he burned safety Michael Huff.

Blocking – Hill has average size, but did make some good blocks. In particular, he showed a good ability to come from the outside to set the edge on a linebacker or defensive back, although there was one play where he tried to do that to Manny Lawson and got driven into the backfield where the runner tripped over him. He also made some good downfield blocks. An example is here, as he sustains his downfield block on Nnamdi Asomugh at the 40-yard line to set up a long touchdown run. He also reacted well on a broken play to take Reggie Nelson out of the play.

Routes – In all the footage I watched, there were just three plays where there was a miscommunication between Hill and the quarterback, although you can never tell whose error that was. However, there was one where he stopped his route and allowed OJ Atogwe to jump in front of him for a pick. In terms of his technical route running ability he showed an ability to get open on simple in, out and curl routes. He also showed an ability to improvize downfield when a play breaks down and obviously has the speed to run an effective go-route.

Hands – Until last season, Hill only had one drop in his NFL career. However, in 2011 he dropped four passes, three on slants and one on a bubble screen. He also had a very low catch rate. He didn’t make too many highlight reel-type grabs, with perhaps the best ones being a tough diving catch with a man draped all over him and a juggling catch on a ball thrown behind him, both with the Jags.

Yards after the catch – Statistically, he didn’t light it up in this category, averaging between four and five yds after the catch (which is basically average) in every season but one (2009, where he only caught nine passes). However, as a measure of how good he is at making extra yardage, he broke a total of 20 tackles from 2008 to 2011. By way of a comparison, Santonio Holmes broke 32. However Hill had 75 catches over that timespan, whereas Holmes had 259, more than three times as much. There were plenty of examples of this, including a play where he slipped one tackle and span out of another on 3rd and seven to get to the marker (only to be victimized by a bad spot). On another play, he broke Cortland Finnegan’s tackle on the outside and then another tackle downfield for a 24-yard pickup down the sideline. In that game against the Jets in 2008, he broke Dwight Lowery’s tackle on a slant route and almost scored, only to have Hank Poteat knock the ball loose at the goal line for his only career fumble. He also converted a third down by breaking a Revis tackle, perhaps explaining in part that over-confidence.

Special Teams – On special teams, he was pretty productive in kick coverage and employed as an effective primary gunner on the punt unit with San Francisco. I don’t know that he’ll be as effective in that role now he’s a little older, but he definitely made some impressive plays.

Demeanor – As you’d probably expect, given the confidence his Revis comments showed, Hill is pretty excitable, gets fired up after big plays and shows some cockiness. Maybe that’s something this team could use. However, reports suggested that he was disgruntled with his lack of opportunities in 2009 and displayed poor body language, so it might be a challenge to keep him happy.

2012 Preseason

As noted earlier, Hill was with the Broncos in preseason. He had a good game in Week 1, but didn’t do much thereafter. Here’s a detailed breakdown of the plays he was involved in:

Week 1 at Chicago

– With four minutes left in the second quarter, he looked sharp as he caught a pass on an in-route from the outside and slipped two tackles, stopped just short of the goal line on a six yard play.
– Went deep down the sideline but the pass hung in the air and the safety came over to break it up.
– Lined up out wide and made a catch over the middle with a defender on his back for 10 on 2nd and 11.
– 19-yard TD on a quick slant as he caught the ball in stride and dragged the defender over the goal line.

Week 2 v Seattle

– Late in the third quarter, he lined up as a gunner on the punt team and made the tackle, getting off his block to shove Leon Washington out of bounds. However, he didn’t get down there too fast and it was a 12 yard return.
– Hill was in on 10 offensive snaps, but only targeted once. He was open on the outside, but the throw was wide and out of his reach as he made a diving attempt.

Week 3 v San Francisco

– With 2:36 to go, Hill caught a 21-yard pass but it was negated by a holding penalty. The protection broke down and the quarterback started to scramble, then flipped a shovel pass to Hill in the flat. He broke a tackle to get the downfield yardage.
– On the next play, Hill ran a curl route downfield, but dropped the ball badly as he started turning upfield before securing the catch. This was his only official target for Hill in 27 snaps.

Week 4 at Arizona

– On the third play of the game, Hill caught a pass but was stopped for no gain. Patrick Peterson read the bubble screen perfectly and dropped Hill as soon as he caught the ball.
– Shortly before half time, he went deep, but Mike Adams made a leaping breakup as he was right with Hill. He was just targeted twice in 37 snaps.

Conclusions

I’m not sure what kind of shape Hill will be in, but in preseason he looked pretty sharp, other than that one drop. In terms of how he can be best used by the Jets, I’m not sure that’s been determined yet. In his career so far, he has been a possession receiver (with a high catch rate and a low average) and more of a downfield threat (with a high average and a low catch rate).

Hill is an NFL-level talent with some good physical ability, but has never really lived up to his potential and – as you’d expect from anyone available at this point of the season – isn’t close to being an elite receiver. However, he has some experience and some residual upside, so it could prove to be a positive move for the Jets.

I’d expect his reps to be restricted at first, because he’ll need some time to learn the playbook, but once he’s ready (assuming he’s in good shape too), I’d expect him to compete for playing time with Stephen Hill and Chaz Schilens on the outside. Hopefully, the Jets will have upgraded the position here, but read what you may into the fact they can do that with an unsigned veteran off the street.





84 comments
nyoak34
nyoak34

I don't know about his ability to evaluate talent, but one of the all-time greats had this to say....


LAS VEGAS — Lakers great James Worthy, now a team broadcaster, gave the wildest praise yet for 19-year-old Kristaps Porzingis, who will face the Lakers at Thomas & Mack Center Monday night in the Knicks’ second summer league game.

After his 12-points-in-18-minutes showing against the Spurs in his Knicks debut Saturday, Worthy said on the Lakers broadcast: “He’s a freak of nature. He’s a combination of Dirk Nowitzki and Kevin Durant. It’s a good pick for the Knicks.’’

Bklyn Dude
Bklyn Dude

@nyoak34 @Bklyn Dude 

All of Phil's acquisitions seem tall and long and capable of playing defense.  It starts with having somebody protect the rim in Robin Lopez.

The Knicks will be in lots of games this year and if we have a healthy Carmelo Anthony and some ball movement with an improved defense, the Knicks should be tough to play against.

Bklyn Dude
Bklyn Dude

@nyoak34 

I don't think the Knicks could afford to pass on Porzingis.  He's got talent and the desire to be good.

Once he puts on some weight and gets a little stronger and develops his body from a 19 year old kid into an NBA body, the Knicks are going to be happy they drafted him.

nyoak34
nyoak34

@Bklyn Dude @nyoak34 He definitely has the right attitude and thick skin which is a huge benefit in coming to NY. You have to love that he said that what he looks forward to most in the NBA is having his own key to the gym. 


There are too many pampered sissies in the NBA who can't handle what it takes to play in NY. That's why you have to like what Afflalo has been saying about how he wanted to be here. He said that during a meaningless Orlando / Knicks game the crowd felt like a game 7 playoff game and he knew he needed to be a part of it. THOSE are the guys we need. Whatever you think about his game, he wants the challenge and that is a big step in the right direction.

John Munro
John Munro

The problem when Tyson Chandler was here was he would be the rim protector so he would go up to block a shot and be out of position for the rebound. 


Porzingis I thought looked good but his biggest problem is rebounding. I would make porzingis be the primary rim defender that way Lopez can focus on rebounding and doesnt have to worry as much about being out of position the way chandler was a lot of the time. So have porzingis focus more on weak side blocks and lopez focus more on boxing out and porzingis rebounding problems shouldnt be that big of a deal

John Munro
John Munro

i dont expect porzingis to play like an all star this year but it wouldnt surprise me to see him put up 15 points and 2 blocks a game. 

John Munro
John Munro

@nyoak34 @John Munro   I dont want to put to much stock into the summer league game i just think his 7'6 wingspan and lateral quickness will help him get a bunch of blocks. The lack of big men posting up in todays game will give him more minuetes on the floor. If he played 15 years ago he would be a much bigger project. But most 4's today arent posting up anymore so that will help him a lot. 


And the fact that he can shoot 3's work on pick and rolls and run off screens for catch and shoots it's going to be a nightmare for PF's to try and defend him. I dont expect it but i dont think it should be a shock if he does 

M&M; Consultants
M&M; Consultants

@John Munro . I agree with on Porzingis about this season and you can see the Knicks are now his team. I won't be surprise to see Melo move by mid season

nyoak34
nyoak34

@M&M; Consultants @John Munro Woahhhh. Slow down there. The Knicks are HIS team ? After one summer league game and 18 minutes ? Let's take a deep breath there and see him play against NBA talent before we hand the team over to him.

John Munro
John Munro

@nyoak34 but that all depends on his jump shot if it's as good as advertised he can score 15 points a game Hopefully his jumper will be as good as Bosh's

John Munro
John Munro

@M&M; Consultants @John Munro id say he's the future but the team is Melo's I want to see the knicks trade Melo at the deadline for 2 solid young pieces and an expiring contract. I would like to see the Knicks build a team around Porzingis Grant and 2 other borderline all stars who are 20 years old, and use that 50 million in cap space they would get from trading melo but as of now Porzingis is a role player to melo

nyoak34
nyoak34

@John Munro @nyoak34 Let's have a bit higher standards, shall we ? Bosh is a 32% career 3 point shooter and 49% overall. Not good for a big man.

M&M; Consultants
M&M; Consultants

@nyoak34 @M&M; Consultants @John Munro . Not because of the one game. I'm just saying you can see the Knicks are building this team around him and they see him as the future. You can read between the lines. Melo hasn't even reached out to the new team mates yet

John Munro
John Munro

@nyoak34 @John Munro Bosh has a solid jumper Porzingis should have a better 3 point shot but in reguards to a mid range game If porzingis could start out his freshman year having a mid range jumper as good as bosh that would be a good starting point. and hopefully he can shoot 40% from 3. 


If thats the case he will score 15 a game. It just depends if his jumper is goign to be that good his rookie season

John Munro
John Munro

@nyoak34 bosh was basically a spot up shooter in miami porzingis is athletic enough to be more than that and he will be a tougher person to defend then bosh. He's deffinetly a project but i think people act like since he's a project he cant help out this year. The fact that he's over 7' and can shoot the way he can and move the way he can theres no reason he cant be a very good player this year. 

nyoak34
nyoak34

@John Munro I think 15 points is pretty ambitious. The 2 blocks should be doable - this guy has a 38" vertical - he should be able to get blocks in various ways - in transition, from the weak side, etc. I would just be happy if he can play somewhere around 24 minutes a game and contribute. He certainly has the athleticism to put numbers up in various ways - he can run the floor and get easy buckets, he can get cheap Tyson alley oops in half court offenses, put-backs, etc. 

blackwood1
blackwood1

This blog manager is pretty slow, I beat them to the Brags signing to the nets & now the Elliott Williams may soon be the next player signed by the Knicks, c'mon pick up the pace! Lol anyway Williams was this yrs D league finals MVP & had a heck of a season.

https://youtu.be/Mv9ZzkArqAc

knicks2016
knicks2016

Knicks fans, imagine if Walsh and D'Antoni had there way.  They wanted D-Will instead of Melo.  We would have been stuck with D-Will and Amare.  We would have been far worse!!!


Thank you Dolan for avoiding that DISATER and not letting Walsh make that mistake.  Melo would have been on the Nets and D-Will would have been a Knick for maybe the same package.  Brooklyn gave up Derrick Favors (top 3 lottery pick), Devin Harris, two first-round draft picks and cash to the Utah Jazz. 

The Knicks traded Wilson ChandlerDanilo GallinariRaymond FeltonTimofey Mozgov and New York's 2014 first-round pick to Denver for Melo, Chauncey BillupsShelden WilliamsRenaldo Balkman and Anthony Carter. The Timberwolves agreed to take Eddy Curry's expiring contract along with Anthony Randolph from the Knicks and send Corey Brewer to New York.


The Nets gave up more for D-Will than what we gave up for Melo.  We gave up 1 first round pick and the right to swap another with Denver.  Nets gave up 2 first round pick.  Felton sucks, Gallinari is always injured.  Mozgov is just now getting good.  Derrick Favors is better than every player we gave up.  Harris is/was way better than Felton.

blackwood1
blackwood1

Don't forget they also gave up the pick that became Lillard to Portland for Gerald Wallace.......LMAO!

j_spikett
j_spikett

@knicks2016 they not only got favors but drafted kanter with one of the picks they got from the nets 3rd overall in that trade. williams was injury prone and had seen his better days by the time he came to the nets. king was bamboozled in that trade. just like the one with the celtics.

bkyguy78
bkyguy78

As for Bargnani, it's clear Phil doesn't want mentally/physically fragile losers anywhere near this locker room. Great non-move. He got rid of all the trash like JR/Shump/Garbgani

Ricky Ace
Ricky Ace

Am I ? Glad you aren't a talent evaluator.

Ricky Ace
Ricky Ace

Am I the only one who liked what I saw out of Maurice Ndour ? He's like a bigger Quicy Acy .. Very athletic blocks shots with a smooth mid range jump shot.. Quintessential small ball 4.. They should definitely give him a long look.

Stacey Pickett
Stacey Pickett

I hope he makes it! Love his defense and he can shoot too! That's why they haven't filled the rest of the vacancies yet! Love Ndour aggressiveness!

blackwood1
blackwood1

So nets sign Brags huh? If we resigned him we suck these other clowns sign him and watch media say how smart a move it was lol.

1harris1
1harris1

@blackwood1 The Nets signed him?  Where did you see that?  I thought he was finalizing terms with the Kings today.

1harris1
1harris1

@blackwood1 Oh yeah, now I see it.  Wow, so he doesn't leave NY after all.


Berman on twitter is reporting "no interest" ever shown by Phil to bring him back.

nyoak34
nyoak34

This is a great non move by the Knicks. On a vet minimum contract he would help us win some games but he had no future here so why not make a statement that this kind of failure is in the past. This kind of soft nonsense is done. One way players (besides Melo) are not welcome here. Go play for the Nets.

blackwood1
blackwood1

Lol i don't wish the cat ill but the local media is a freakin clown show, hype or heated depending on how they wanna spin things. Nets desperate as hell.

raven6
raven6

@nyoak34 happy for Bargs, he would lose us a lot of games and block development of our young players. Wish him really best on other team, no more -8 point differential with him on court....

tdzo
tdzo

I understand it's just a typo, but how must Jerian Grant feel seeing his name on this "professional" blog spelled as "Jerkin" Proof reading is a simple, yet overlooked task.


And Early was good, but not "undoubtedly" the best player of the floor for either team.


There are a few more games to evaluate who is going to get the last roster spots, but right now I would say Travis and Thanasis will be on the outside looking in.

Joshua Anselmo
Joshua Anselmo

Glad to see Ledo's name finally be used in this blog lol

knicks2016
knicks2016

We need to develop Ledo!!  It is very difficult to find guards that can dribble penetrate and break down defenses.  Yes, he needs to improve...but, he has the skill set to get better. Plus, Ledo is a big SG at 6'7".


Plus...we need to bring back Shved.  He also is a very good at dribble penetration.


Afflalo. Shved and Ledo should be our SG depth for next season.


cleonsvan
cleonsvan

@preybird  Just curious. Who am I being racist against? Whites for being clumsy and stiff or blacks for being better at basketball.

preybird
preybird

The answer is in your response, genius.

cleonsvan
cleonsvan

@preybird  You should try not being so offended by any slight criticism. It makes going through life a little easier.

j_spikett
j_spikett

@preybird he is just keeping it real. how many white all stars are there in this league?................ still waiting for an answer

preybird
preybird

That's a pretty absurd and semi-racist thing to say. Get off of Steven A's jock, dude, and start paying attention to some facts.

preybird
preybird

@j_spikett @preybird  Read more closely. The problem with cleon's response is the underlying assumption that a black draft pick would definitely pan out better than Prozingis b/c he is white. To me, it sounds like Cleon (who may be black) feels threatened by the proliferation of international players in a for the most part black-dominated sport. But the NBA is a changing league and it would not be as popular as it is today without the influx of European players. To assume that Zinger will fail more than a black athlete just because of race is downright ignorant. 

@cleonsvan Idiotic, uninformed, and ignorant comment. Get a clue before posting such trash.

blackwood1
blackwood1

@cleonsvan racism much? What's his race gotta do with it? It's a 7'3 19yr old young man who is still filling out. Give me an unstoppable 15 footer, 8 boards & 2 blocks a game & im all good. But hating on the dudes race is wack & passe bruh lets all get past it & be about the game.

1harris1
1harris1

According to ESPN, former Knickerbocker immortal Andrea Bargnani is closing in on a deal with Sacramento.  


Cousins, Karl, Bargnani, Rondo: definitely worth investing in the NBA television package this coming season to follow that comedy act.  lol

j_spikett
j_spikett

@1harris1dont laugh sac will have a better team than the knicks. a lot better and sac didn't have to part with a number one pick to get him like the knicks did

1harris1
1harris1

@j_spikett @1harris1 They might very well be better, although I'm not sure what that means.  They'll be as dysfunctional as any franchise out there though with that crew.  Also, in the West, I still don't think they get to 35 wins (no great surprise since Sacramento has never won even 30 games since Cousins joined the team).


Yeah, a No: 1 pick for Bargnani might be one of the worst deals in Knick history.  Hard to believe Grunwald made that trade on his own without the owner forcing him to do that.  I guess we'll never know.

j_spikett
j_spikett

ledo looks very good. signing affalo was an 8 million dollar mistake. he shot 42% last year even worse after he was traded to portland. at 30 years old he is going downhill fast. ledo should be given more minutes. fisher is blind not to see that. the money they wasted on affalo could of been spent on a big guy. admunsonon is a scrub. this team needs some big men. even d leaguers are better than admunson

David Rivera
David Rivera

Whats scary, just like last year, is that 4-5 of these guys will be on the NBA roster. I hope we dont field a summer league roster again this year.

BronsonSNY
BronsonSNY

@David Rivera Yes, 4-5 guys will be on the NBA roster because this team is doing something Knicks or their fan base aren't accustomed...and it's called development. That's why they only won 17 games because you have players under 23 trying to find their way in this tough market. You guys want the lavish chicken dinner without first gutting the raw chicken.