GREEN BAY, Wis. – The Green Bay Packers used their seventh-round pick in the NFL Draft on Mississippi State running back Kylin Hill. Here’s a look at Hill’s four-year career with the Bulldogs.
Kylin Hill’s Stats at Mississippi State
Few players lost more money during the 2020 season than Hill. 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 2020, with Hill going from a potential Day 2 pick to one of the last picks of 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.
“I feel like I can produce pretty well” as a receiver, he said. “I can catch the ball out of the backfield very well. Really just ready to do whatever they want me to do it. I’m going to go 100 percent to try to produce the best I can so we can win these games. I’m ready to go.”
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In 40 games (27 starts), Hill ranks eighth in school history with 2,535 rushing yards.
Going Beyond the Box Score
In four seasons with Green Bay, Jamaal Williams was a tough, no-nonsense runner and an asset in the passing game. Hill is of the same mold. At 5-10 1/2 and 214 pounds, Hill’s not a big man but he’s got a big-back mentality. He’s a tough, decisive runner. For his career, according to Sports Info Solutions, he averaged 3.2 yards after contact and forced 28 missed tackles per 100 touches. For context, North Carolina’s Michael Carter ranked fifth in the draft class with 28 missed tackles per 100 touches in 2020.
According to Pro Football Focus, Hill had just one drop in 2020. In the aforementioned game against LSU, 155 of his 158 receiving yards came after the catch.
The fastest way to the doghouse is fumbling. He finished his career with 448 consecutive touches without a fumble dating to his freshman year. If he can clean up his pass-protection technique, he’s got a chance to join Aaron Jones and AJ Dillon to give the Packers a potent backfield.
“He’s a very talented individual,” Gutekunst said. “We were surprised to see him on the board that late and were kind of holding our breath there in the seventh round, but we were excited to get him. He’s an explosive athlete as a runner, catches the ball really well, and he may be able to add some special teams value, as well.”