Indianapolis Colts rookie wide receiver T.Y. Hilton has blazing speed. Compact and explosive, Hilton has run the 40-yard dash in 4.34 seconds.
The former Florida International star has been utilizing that acceleration during a stellar first season in Indianapolis, where he emerged as a dangerous downfield weapon, catching 50 passes for 865 yards for seven touchdowns.
"T.Y. Hilton is a threat," Ravens coach John Harbaugh said. "We liked him coming out. He was a guy that we had rated very highly as a return guy and as a wide receiver. He's probably exceeded most of the league's expectations. They've done a great job iwth him. He's a home run hitter."
Hilton sprinted past the Houston Texans' defensive backs for a 70-yard touchdown last week to clinch a regular-season finale victory.
"He can go, he really can," said former NFL safety John Lynch, a FOX analyst."I watched him on that touchdown against Houston and it looked like he was jogging and he was running by people. He runs effortlessly, like they're standing motionless. He's got some juice to him."
At 5-9, 183 pounds, Hilton is a smaller downfield target.
Whether it's fly patterns or bubble screens, though, Hilton is elusive.
"It's tough," Harbaugh said. "[The bubble screen], that's a great play. They get it to him a lot of different ways."
For the season, Hilton is averaging 17.4 yards per reception.
"He's really elusive," said former NFL quarterback Rich Gannon, a CBS analyst. "He's a good returner. When he gets into the open field, he's tough to tackle. He's really quick. He's got a little chip on his shoulder. He plays bigger than he is.
"He does a nice job with his hands and getting off press. Bruce Arians does a really good job formationally with motion to help these guys. That gets them off the jam. There's a lot of movement, bunch formations, stacks. Hilton is an impressive kid."
Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun