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Jets get WR Hill and LB Davis

Georgia Tech wide receiver Stephen Hill speaks to

Georgia Tech wide receiver Stephen Hill speaks to reporters after being selected as the 43rd pick overall by the New York Jets in the second round of the NFL draft. (April 27, 2012) Credit: AP

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- The Jets had their pick of the litter when it came to pass rushers in the first round of the NFL draft Thursday night.

And Friday night, they added even more speed on both ends of the ball.

The Jets got a potential deep threat in the second round, scooping up Georgia Tech's Stephen Hill with the 43rd overall pick after trading up with Seattle, and then selected Arkansas State linebacker Demario Davis with the 77th pick.

"The league is getting faster," vice president of college scouting Joey Clinkscales said, "So it was important for us to add that as well."

The 6-2, 235-pound Davis may be a relative unknown to Jets fans unfamiliar with the Sun Belt Conference, but his speed and athleticism will be a major asset as he vies for an inside linebacker position on the Jets. Davis also was rated highly by special-teams coordinator Mike Westhoff and will be an immediate special-teams contributor.

"Wherever they have me playing, I'm going to be ready to come in and contribute as best I can," he said of his transition to the Jets' defense. "The Jets showed that they really liked me a lot, so I was just ready for whoever called and I'm just glad they called 'cause I would not want to be with nobody but the New York Jets."

Hill was a steal for the Jets, who have five picks remaining, but none until the sixth round.

General manager Mike Tannenbaum said the Jets were fortunate to trade away fifth-round (154th overall) and seventh-round (232nd overall) picks to Seattle to move up from 47th to 43rd to get the 6-4, 215-pound Hill.

"We really wanted him," said Tannenbaum, who said Hill has a chance to start right away opposite Santonio Holmes. "Once he was in striking distance . . . We felt that was appropriate value for us."

After selecting defensive end Quinton Coples 16th overall in the first round, the Jets entered the second round hoping to snatch up a speedy receiver. And that's just what they got in Hill, who surprised scouts with a 4.3-second 40-yard dash.

"I really didn't have no idea until that phone started ringing," the early-entry junior said on a conference call Friday night. "I just got so happy, I didn't even answer the phone on the first ring."

Hill was the go-to wideout in the Yellow Jackets' triple-option offense, averaging 29.3 yards on 28 catches. Though he had limited receiving opportunities because of Georgia Tech's offense, Clinkscales said "height, weight, speed-wise," Hill is similar to Lions star Calvin Johnson.

The Jets said Hill proved during his combine, pro day and private workout with the team that he can run the full NFL route tree.

Hill also has a lot of experience blocking, thanks to his run-first offense in college -- and that bodes well for the Jets, who are determined to mesh a Mark Sanchez-led passing attack with a running game that features a Tim Tebow-run Wildcat.

Said Hill: "I can definitely put somebody on their butt."

New York Sports