With the evolution of college recruiting and pooling of talent at a few top schools, many programs are struggling to find top skill position players. Not least among these schools is Florida State. The Seminoles are only a few years removed from a National Championship, but their fall was swift and the roster has been fully depleted. Simply put, Florida State needs a savior.

Head Coach Mike Norvell is trying his best to resuscitate Florida State, first by bringing in transfer quarterback McKenzie Milton and then by rounding out a full backfield with former Auburn running back DJ Williams. But who will catch passes from Milton in 2021, especially with the departure of top receiver Tamorrion Terry? It is a very real possibility that incoming freshman Destyn Hill may be the top guy.

Hill is a 6’0, 200 lb receiver (I’ve seen some outlets list him as tall as 6’2) out of New Orleans, Louisiana and is rated as the 19th WR in the 247 composite. Hill had a number of top offers from schools like Alabama, Georgia, Oklahoma, and his local LSU Tigers. For those who do not recognize the name, it is understandable. The big bodied receiver previously went by Destyn Pazon, but changed his surname to Hill to honor his late grandfather, who passed recently.

STRENGTHS

Athleticism

Hill’s explosiveness jumps off the screen. His acceleration and burst helps him create separation early, and his long speed helps him maintain that through his route stems. As far as stacking defenders goes, there is no player better in this freshman class. On this touchdown, Hill showcases a bit of that explosiveness, which creates a small window for that pass.

Although Hill does not have any verified 40 times, he does have an 11.09 100, which converts to roughly a 4.6. That is a very good time for a high school athlete and one that Hill can likely improve on. I’d guess he can get down to a 4.5 or so by the time he would be eligible for the NFL Draft.

Route Running Technique

When I evaluate high school receivers, I don’t particularly care much about route running. Most of the recruits, even the highly rated ones, have barely ever had to perfect this part of their game. Some may show pieces of the puzzle, like quick feet or a single release they’ve worked on, but the crucible of college football accelerates that developmentt. But Hill is the rare prospect that has developed some of these skills even before reaching college.

Hill is already better than many college receivers when it comes to stacking defensive backs. When I say “stacking defensive backs”, I mean the ability for the receiver to get on top of a corner while running a vertical route, or at least one that requires some sort of vertical depth in the stem. Often, once a corner is stacked they are defeated. Burnt. Toast. Dust. Stacking gives the quarterback a larger target on a fade or go, or allows the receiver to effectively “shed” the corner on an out-breaking route. Stacking is more of an art than a science, and is typically the sign of a savvy receiver.

YAC Ability

If I am projecting a high school prospect as a top C2C asset, they need to be more than capable after the catch. YAC ability shows me a lot. First, it shows the relative athletic ability of the player, as well as their movement skills. Although the two are directly related, they are not the same. Some players can be absurdly athletic and yet lack any sort of elusiveness. Hill has both. 

Not only is Hill elusive, he also shows physicality after the catch and is not afraid to run over a defensive back. I’m not looking for soft receivers that are soft. I need a player that is not afraid of contact. Hill is certainly that player.

WHAT FORMATS AM I BUYING IN?

Hearing about the pros and cons of a player is nice, but most of the top guys in a recruiting class are good athletes that have tons of good offers and potential through the roof. So the big question becomes, in which formats should I be targeting this player? And where should I draft him?

Hill is quickly becoming a favorite of many more prominent devy analysts. Although this may bump him up rankings, I doubt you’d need to draft him this year in anything shorter than a three round devy draft. Devy Verdict: In a depleted draft, after round 4 and other freshman WRs start coming off the board get ready to pounce on Hill.

As I stated earlier, Hill is beginning to gain some steam on social media and other c2c communities. I’d expect Hill to go in the third round or earlier in most of these leagues as a result. If you want Hill, don’t wait on him. C2C Verdict: Anywhere from the 2nd round in freshmen drafts is likely the sweet spot.

CONCLUSION

Hill hits the sweet spot of a very strong recruiting profile arriving in a situation that should allow for early playing time. Hill’s early production will depend on the QB play at Florida State. A return to form for Milton should present ample opportunity for multiple receivers. If Milton looks shaky and second year QB Chubba Purdy fails to develop, it could end up being some wasted years for Destyn Hill’s development.

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