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Jets Climb Up in Round 2 for WR Stephen Hill

Updated, 11:20 p.m. ET

The Jets held serve and their first-round selection when they spent their 16th overall pick of the 2012 draft on DE Quinton Coples on Thursday night. But "Trader" Mike Tannenbaum struck again near the top of tonight's second round as the Green & White traded up from their 47th slot to the Seahawks' 43rd.

And with that enhanced position, the Jets selected Stephen Hill, the 6'4", 215-pound wide receiver from Georgia Tech, potentially filling the desire of head coach Rex Ryan to find a big-target, talented WR who can block on the perimeter for his Ground & Pound offensive attack.

"Oh, man, I was happy," Hill told Jets reporters on a conference call shortly after his selection by the Jets. "We actually had a lot of conversation and I felt really home there. ... Just the coaches and the way they coach and what type of attitude they have toward football.

"I really enjoyed playing with the coaches at Georgia Tech and now I'm ready to go with coach Rex Ryan because I know he's a big, big winner."

Late tonight, after the Jets used their third-round pick to select ILB Demario Davis of Arkansas State, Tannenbaum said he thinks Ryan and coordinator Tony Sparano will enjoy working Hill into their offense.

"We feel real fortunate to get Stephen in the second round," the general manager said at a news conference with Jets reporters at the Atlantic Health Jets Training Center. "We had to move up a little bit to make sure we got him. We think he has a chance to come in right away and play. We're real excited about his upside, his height, weight and speed. We feel he has a ton of potential."

To swing the deal — unofficially the 32nd trade involving a draft choice made by Tannenbaum since he became general manager in 2006 — the Jets gave up their fifth-round pick (No .154 overall) and seventh-rounder (No. 232, from Denver in the Tim Tebow trade) to Seattle to move up four spots to 43 to select Hill. They now have five picks left to make on Saturday: three in the sixth round (Nos. 187, 202 and 203) and two in the seventh (Nos. 242 and 244).

Coincidentally, the Jets' second-round selection of Hill was announced from the podium at Radio City Music Hall in New York by Wesley Walker, the Jets' 1977 second-round wideout extraordinaire.

Hill's college production was nowhere near Walker's at Cal or with the Jets. As the top wideout in Georgia Tech's triple-option, he had only 28 receptions last season as a junior. But those grabs went for 820 yards, a stunning 29.3-yard per-catch average.

He had similar numbers for his career — just 49 receptions, but for 1,248 yards (and nine TDs), a whopping 25.5-yard average that would have set the Yellow Jackets' career receiving-average mark if only he had one more catch to reach the 50-catch threshold for that mark.

As the averages attest, Hill has some remarkable physical tools. He dazzled at the NFL Combine workouts in Indianapolis in February with an announced 40 time of 4.36 seconds, although he was told by scouts that one watch had him at 4.28. He also rang up a 39½-inch vertical leap, an 11'1" broad jump, a 4.48-second shuttle and a 6.88 in the three-cone drill.

"He's unique," said VP of college scouting Joey Clinkscales. "He's a 6'4" kid, 215, who runs a 4.32. He's a unique athlete, he really is."

"I feel great, especially now that I'm in more of an offense where I can catch the ball a little more, and catching the ball from Mark Sanchez will be great," he said. "I'm ready to go, ready to learn — I'm a quick learner. So I'm ready to see how things are going to fold out."

And Hill also has been given top grades by many scouts for his blocking, consistently smothering smaller DBs and having success when going up against linebackers in the run game.

"I can definitely put somebody on their butt," he said.

Tannenbaum was asked why he thought Hill, with such remarkable physical skills, stayed in the Georgia Tech offense for three seasons.

"We asked him why go there knowing the type of offense they ran," Mr. T said. "He said initially George Tech was the only team that made an offer to him, and when a few more teams came in with offers, he said he had committed to them and didn't want to back out of his commitment. That's not why we picked him but it's an interesting anecdote."

And Hill makes for an interesting addition to the Jets' WR mix, even while only bringing 28 receptions as a junior with him to the pros. But as senior personnel executive Terry Bradway reminded, Tech "only completed 64 as a team. They have a great offense but it's not a pro-style offense. Sanjay [Lal, Jets receivers coach] spent probably an hour and a half with him on the field and had him do everything.

"He's really coachable and he's willing to work," Bradway added. "With Sanjay and our offensive coaches, I think the upside is going to happen pretty quickly for this kid."

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