GREEN BAY, Wis. – The Green Bay Packers signed three of their late-round draft picks on Thursday, a day ahead of their rookie camp.
Along with sixth-round offensive tackle Cole Van Lanen, Green Bay signed fifth-round defensive tackle T.J. Slaton and seventh-round running back Kylin Hill.
Slaton started 14 games in four seasons at Florida, with a dozen of those coming as a senior, when he set a career high with 37 tackles. He added 1.5 sacks and 3.5 tackles for losses, just off his career highs of two sacks and four TFLs from 2019.
An offensive tackle in high school, Slaton will be battle-tested coming out of the powerful SEC. He averaged about 45 snaps per game in 2020, when he was listed at 340 pounds. He was 330 at Florida’s pro day and wants to be at about 320 for the Packers.
Love and 10 Other Highlights from Packers Minicamp
From Jordan Love to Innis Gaines to an energized defense, here are some noteworthy performances from the Green Bay Packers' mandatory minicamp that wrapped up on Thursday.
Campbell Could Thrive After Other Linebacker Rentals Failed
De’Vondre Campbell, a 70-game starter in his first five NFL seasons, chose Green Bay because, “When you see the ‘G,’ it speaks for itself.”
NFL Suspends Sternberger for First Two Games
In a statement he posted on Twitter, Packers tight end Jace Sternberger said he fell asleep at the wheel after drinking while on antidepressants.
“Obviously, T.J.’s a monster,” general manager Brian Gutekunst said. “He’s got great size, great length. He’s really tough to dig out of that inside there. He’s one of those guys that can clog up the middle, eat up space and find the ball. If teams want to run it on us, I think specifically as we get later in the season, we have an ability to go in there and get big. And that was why we selected him.”
The last of the team’s nine draft picks was Hill, a running back from Mississippi State. In 2019, he rushed for 1,350 yards (5.6 average) and 10 touchdowns. Hill paced the SEC in rushing yards per game, was second-team all-conference and won the Conerly Trophy as the best college player in the state of Mississippi.
Then came a forgettable 2020 season that made him the 256th of 259 picks in the draft. New coach Mike Leach installed his Air Raid system, which made the running game an afterthought. After Hill was suspended for a game, he opted out of the rest of the season. In three games, he rushed 15 times for 58 yards (3.9 average). However, he did catch 23 passes for 237 yards (10.3 average). He tied the school record with 15 catches vs. Kentucky and broke the school record for most receiving yards by a running back with 158 vs. LSU.