Green Bay Packers: Kylin Hill can assume the Jamaal Williams role

2021 NFL Daft prospect Kylin Hill #8 of the Mississippi State Bulldogs (Photo by Matt Bush-USA TODAY Sports)
2021 NFL Daft prospect Kylin Hill #8 of the Mississippi State Bulldogs (Photo by Matt Bush-USA TODAY Sports) /

It is an understatement to say that the Green Bay Packers have a loaded running back room. Back in the 2020 NFL Draft, the Packers selected Boston College running back A.J. Dillon in the second round. After that, in this past offseason, the Green Bay Packers brought back star Aaron Jones on a four-year deal.

They weren’t done adding to the room. In the 2021 NFL Draft, the Packers had a gem fall into their lap in the seventh round, and they went for it, selecting Mississippi State running back Kylin Hill.

While it’s likely Jones and Dillon get a heavy dose of the work in 2021, even in their “pony” package, Hill can fill the Jamaal Williams role for the Green Bay Packers.

Despite having a very good “thunder and lightning” duo, the Packers don’t ignore a rotation with their running backs. As was mentioned above, head coach Matt LaFleur does have a package in his scheme that features two running backs on the field. Having two backs with different skill sets on the field opens up a world of possibilities for the offense.

While this writer expects it to be Dillon and Jones paired normally in this package, having a player like Hill can bring the elite receiving ability at the position to the backfield once again. Yes, Jones and Dillon aren’t inept receivers, but they aren’t as natural as Hill is catching the football. When the Packers run RPOs off of this package, it helps to have a true receiving threat in the backfield. Hill can be just that in the offense.

Where else can Hill contribute? Well, the “Jamaal Williams role” featured many different things. Williams was the tough, downhill runner who had the north/south mentality and could pick up key yards. At 5’10” and 214 pounds, Hill has the size and low center of gravity to pick up tough yards. He also has the ability to make defenders miss in a phone booth and is a natural at creating in space.

The last major area where Hill can contribute is in the screen game. Williams handled a lot of the screen duties in 2020 because of his prowess in catching the football. Hill possesses that same trait, and with his toughness and good vision after the catch in the open field, it makes perfect sense that he gets involved here.

Something not mentioned as much, but is extremely important, is pass protection. While it might not matter as much as it used to, the ability to pass protect is still key for a running back to get some early snaps. Hill is impressive in this area, and his reliability there could be the tipping point for him to get snaps in his rookie season.

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Even with this deep running back room, the Green Bay Packers could use Hill more than anticipated in year one. He won’t play more snaps than Dillon or Jones, but his receiving ability makes the offense more multi-dimensional when he’s on the field. The Williams role is his, he just has to go out and take it in camp.