WR Hill Meets With Buccaneers

April 9 - Updating an earlier report in SR's Fab Five, Buccaneer Magazine has learned that the Buccaneers had a pre-draft meeting with Northern Illinois WR Darrell Hill today. The 6-foot-2 Hill is expected to be a mid- to late-round draft pick in the 2002 NFL Draft.

Buccaneer Magazine has learned that Northern Illinois wide receiver Darrell Hill had a pre-draft meeting with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Tuesday. Hill is slated to be drafted anywhere from the third to the sixth round in the 2002 NFL Draft, and the Bucs will almost certainly use at least one of their eight draft picks on a receiver.

Hill (6-foot-2, 199) is a former high school track star who started playing football later in high school. He's got great leaping ability and blazing speed, and has been timed between 4.38 and 4.46 in offseason workouts for NFL scouts. His receiving skills are still developing, but he is an intriguing prospect in terms of size and speed, which are two things that Bucs head coach Jon Gruden covets at the wide receiver position.

Gruden isn't shy about taking on projects with potential at the receiver position. He took a chance on athletic, 6-foot-2 West Virginia wide receiver Jerry Porter in the first round of the 2000 draft even though he had mostly played safety for the Mountaineers.

Hill caught 32 passes for 587 yards and six touchdowns in 1999 for Northern Illinois, and also returned 16 kickoffs for 340 yards. He was a medical redshirt in 2000 after breaking a finger in practice after the second game, which caused him to miss the rest of the season. He caught six passes for 85 yards before the injury.

Hill had a breakout season in 2001, catching 38 passes for 822 yards and seven touchdowns while averaging 21.6 yards per catch. He picked up his game towards the end of the season, hauling in 23 catches for 599 yards and five touchdowns. He finished with a bang against Wake Forest with eight catches for 160 yards and three touchdowns in the season finale.

As we mentioned in the latest edition of SR's Fab Five on Tuesday, Hill is one of several receivers that the Bucs have a strong interest in. Also included in that group are Alabama's Freddie Milons, Louisville's Deion Branch and Indiana's Antwaan Randle El.

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