There weren’t a lot of highlights from the Packers preseason slate this year.
Not very much was learned from a team that saw at least 30 players not even dress for all three games.
But the Packers found a little sizzle at running back. Kylin Hill did his best imitation of Aaron Jones during preseason by running around, through and past unassuming defenders.
“He can stick his foot in the ground and make the cuts,” said Packers coach Matt Lafleur earlier in camp.
Hill, 23, was chosen as the 256th player in the 2021 NFL Draft. There are 259 players drafted each year, but Hill has proven that he really belongs and none of that matters anymore. The 5-foot-10, 214-pounder from Mississippi State was a first-team all-SEC selection as a junior in 2019 after leading the conference in rushing and then followed that up by setting a school record for receiving yards in a single game by a running back in his senior season. That final season in Starkville, Mississippi was peculiar. He played in three games, suffered a concussion, then didn’t play for personal reasons before finally deciding to opt out of the rest of the season and focus on the NFL Draft.
There’s a lot to like about Hill. First and foremost, is his running ability. He has speed and power. He has a nice shake, plenty of burst but at the same time, he’s not afraid to take on any defender that stands in his way. Then there’s the added benefit of him being an excellent receiver and you have the perfect Packers equation — versatility.
“The game certainly isn’t too big for him,” Lafleur said.
Hill easily lapped everyone for the No. 3 running back job. He looked comfortable and knew he belonged at this level.
Those are traits that you cannot teach. You either know that you have it or don’t. And Hill has that innate ability to know that he possesses that “it” quality that all running backs drool over.
Since he’s the No. 3 back, playing time and snaps will be tough to come by. But his Swiss Army Knife availability will likely get him on the field sooner. He could potentially be lined up all over the field, including receiver.
Hill was the preseason spark plug. When he was on the field, you had to watch, because you didn’t want to miss him trucking a defensive back or juking a linebacker. That’s perfect for an offense that will have a lot of fun and put up plenty of points.
He’s a lot better than a seventh round draft pick and he’s going to remind the NFL of that each time he gets a chance this season.
Cory Jennerjohn is a graduate from UW-Oshkosh and has been in sports media for over 15 years. He was a co-host on “Clubhouse Live” and has also done various radio and TV work as well. He has written for newspapers, magazines and websites. He currently is a columnist for CHTV and also does various podcasts. He recently earned his Masters degree from the University of Iowa. He can be found on Twitter: @Coryjennerjohn