2015 NFL Draft: The Gift and the Curse of Being a Yellow Jackets Receiver in the NFL Draft


Simply put, the NFL drafting Georgia Tech wide receivers is a trend.

This is not to say that Yellow Jackets receivers grabbing attention is undeserved.

Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets
Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets /

Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets

But think about it, as much as we laugh at Duke head football coach David Cutcliffe for making his silly statement posing the question, “Why would any wide receivers want to go to Georgia Tech?”, on the surface it does look like a legitimate question.

The Jackets don’t run high powered air-it-out spread offense, they run a high-powered option running attack.

But when you look at why a wide receiver would want to go to Georgia Tech, they usually come out as some of the more complete wide receivers in the game.

Yeah, they may not run a zillion routes per game, but these receivers come out of The Flats physical with run-blocking skills, and lately, with extremely good size.

Coming out of Georgia Tech as a wide receiver of late seems to be a gift and a curse now.

Why? Because when NFL Teams are drafting receivers from Georgia Tech they are doing it in hopes of finding the next Calvin Johnson or  Demaryius Thomas, and that success is tough to live up too.

The first player that comes to mind when you think about an NFL teams taking a Tech receiver in hopes of duplicating Johnson’s and Thomas’ success was Stephen Hill.

When the Jets drafted him with the 43rd overall pick of the Second Round, draft analysts immediately felt that it was kind of a stretch to draft him at that point of the draft.

But the Jets had to be in love with Stephen Hill’s size and speed, and most importantly, though unfairly, they loved the opportunity to possibly have their own version of “Megatron”.

That obviously did not work out and people view Hill as a bust only after two seasons played on the field.

Hill is still young enough to possibly shake the bust label, but there is pressure on him whether fairly or not.

When Darren Waller and Deandre Smelter are drafted and eventually take the field, they are going to be unfairly placed under a microscope because of the gift and the curse that is being a wide receiver from Georgia Tech.

Automatically when teams look at these two players, everyone that is analyzing the situation is going to make one of two distinctions, ‘he is either going to be the next Calvin Johnson or Demaryius Thomas, or he could be as bad as Stephen Hill.

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It is good that Calvin Johnson and Demaryius Thomas have had the success that they have had so teams are not afraid to draft a Georgia Tech wide receiver.

But the comparisons to these great receivers are what will put players like Stephen Hill in 2012 as well as Darren Waller and Deandre Smelter now under scrutiny that they may not deserve.

Every player is their own individual case and hopefully the past success and failures of Georgia Tech receivers are not going to be considered when the NFL looks at Waller and Smelter.

But you just get the feeling that the comparisons will come with the territory, and honestly, that could be detrimental.

Just judge these players on their own merit and let them develop into there own player. Not everyone can be a superstar like Calvin Johnson or Demaryius Thomas.

But Smelter and Waller can be solid players in their own right.