Jason Hill is a receiver with a ton of potential. He's just 6 feet tall and only weighs 202 pounds, but he has blazing speed and the ability to leave a defender in his wake. The problem with all that is that he's never played to that level. The Jaguars picked him up after he was released by the 49ers in 2010. He caught just eleven passes for the remainder of the year, and just one touchdown. On the plus side, he averaged 22.5 yards per reception. The talent is there, but just what should we expect of Jason Hill in 2011.
Mike Sims-Walker will not be returning to the Jaguars. That much has been made clear, and that's a shame. He had as much talent as any Jaguars receiver has ever had, but he could never stay healthy, and put it together. That leaves the spot open for Jason Hill.
Jason Hill has been in the league for 4 years, and he only has a total of 51 receptions. That being the case, it's hard to judge where he'll go based on stats alone. We also have to consider the other receivers on the Jaguars' roster.
Tiquan Underwood will likely be the favorite to take over the role of number 2 at the receiver position. The Jaguars also picked up WR Cecil Shorts. Shorts could quickly develop into a very good receiver, and he could challenge Underwood for number 2 later in the season, although that is unlikely.
Jason Hill is the other guy that could challenge Underwood, and he should. Hill has speed, as well as Underwood. It's going to be a tough battle for that position, and the guy that wins it will likely be the winner of an open competition in training camp. So, let's get to the expectations.
I expect Hill to be no worse than the third WR on the depth chart. You can't ignore his speed, and he's a solid receiver catching wise. He'll need to perform well in training camp and pre-season action, but he should have the best season of his career. That being the case, I'm keeping expectations modest. I think he'll catch about 40 passes, he'll have 5 touchdowns, and he'll have about 500 yards receiving on the season. I think those are realistic expectations of a guy that the Jaguars clearly like enough to lose one of their most talented receivers. It's a gamble for sure, and it'll be interesting to see if it pays off.