Kylin Hill - RB- Mississippi State
Welcome into the rookie profile for Kylin Hill, a top 3 rusher in the SEC when he was given a full workload in 2019. Not to mention, at this time the SEC was filled with talented backs that are all currently in the NFL such as Clyde Edwards-Helaire, D’Andre Swift, Lynn Bowden, Ke’Shawn Vaughn, and Najee Harris. With Mike Leach coming in for Hill’s senior season, he immediately picked up the new air raid offense and flourished as a receiver. Unfortunately, his rushing opportunities dropped dramatically and this could have played a role in Hill deciding to opt-out of his senior season after playing just 3 games.
Team: Green Bay Packers
Height: 5′ 10″
Weight: 214 lbs
40-yard dash: 4.51
3-cone drill: 7.13
20-yard shuttle: 4.35
Vertical Jump: 36″
Broad Jump: 122″
Bench Press: 22
Kylin Hill was a 4-star recruit, per 247sports, who stayed close to his hometown of Columbus, Mississippi when committing to Mississippi State. As a Freshman, Hill carved out a decent role behind lead back Aeris Williams and dual-threat quarterback Nick Fitzgerald. Following 2017, Hill moved past Williams on the depth chart and earned his breakout season with over 900 scrimmage yards. This was fans’ first glimpse at Hill’s ability as a pass-catcher when he posted over 22 receptions and had 8 yards per reception. He still trailed Fitzgerald as the leading rusher but was efficient with the work he did receive. Going into his junior year, Fitzgerald was gone and it was time for Hill to thrive as the head of the rushing attack for Mississippi State. Hill continued his three-down workhorse role accumulating 1500+ total yards and 11 total touchdowns. This performance was good enough for HIll to gain First Team All-SEC honors and the Conerly Trophy (awarded to the best college football player in Mississippi).
In 2020, Mississippi State made a big splash in the offseason bringing in Mike Leach as the new head coach. Leach brought with him his air-raid offensive scheme which led to a huge uptick in receptions for Hill but a significant drop in rushing attempts. Hill received 29 targets through 3 games, already surpassing his career-high in 2018. After showing his ability to be a viable pass catcher and seeing a decrease in rushing attempts, Hill decided to opt-out for the remainder of the season. During his pro-day, Hill scored fairly well posting average percentiles in the 40-yard dash, bench press, speed, burst, and agility scores.
Hill has a violent running style, powering through tacklers, lowering his shoulder, and seeking out contact. He has a solid frame for this running style at 5’10” and 213 lbs. When he makes contact he consistently fights for extra yards and shows off his contact balance to stay on his feet for additional yards. Despite his running style, Hill displays surprisingly good change of direction and lateral movement. He is able to make defenders miss in tight spaces and displays the ability to make defenders miss in the open field. Additionally, he shows above-average burst when getting through the line of scrimmage or around the edge.
At Mississippi State, Hill was put into a three-down role early in his career. He reached over 20 receptions in two out of four seasons, including the year that he only played 3 games. He can be serviceable in pass protection to the point that coaches won’t have to worry about him being a liability on third downs.
Hill is a player that does a lot of things well but is not elite in any areas of his game. Occasionally he showed questionable vision missing cutback lanes or committing to a quickly closing hole at the line of scrimmage. After his initial burst, there was no second gear once Hill was at the next level in the defense. He won’t be breaking off any long touchdowns at the next level. While his pass-catching improved throughout his collegiate career, there were still occasional body catches. He is serviceable in the passing game, but his route tree mostly consisted of quick check-downs in the flat or over the middle of the field.
Expected Draft Capital:
Early Day 3, rounds 4-5.
Best Draft Fits:
Kylin Hill has the build and production profile to provide an immediate impact at the next level. He will most likely get drafted into a running back by committee situation with the potential for his role to grow. If he excels in his given role and develops his game further, he could be a force in the league. Good NFL team fits for Hill would be the Buffalo Bills, New England Patriots, Los Angeles Chargers, or the Atlanta Falcons.
Green Bay Packers: Rounds 7, Pick 29
With Green Bay’s last pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, they selected Kylin Hill with the 29th pick in the 7th round. A lot of analysts like Hill’s upside going into the draft, but it appears NFL teams didn’t feel the same way. With Aaron Jones and AJ Dillon squarely in front of Hill on the depth chart, it is hard to envision him getting any run without injuries ahead of him. Green Bay also has Dexter Williams and Patrick Taylor at running back on the roster. The three of Williams, Taylor, and Hill will most likely be fighting during the offseason for a roster spot. If Hill were to get any playing time, he should provide a nice spark to the offense in a limited role.
With Hill being selected in the seventh round, it appears he will be fighting for a roster spot with other running backs on the roster. Green Bay did not have an apparent need at running back and it is hard envisioning any meaningful playing time for Hill behind Jones and Dillon. In redraft formats, it’s expected to see Hill go undrafted and be a non-factor for fantasy teams during the 2021 season. For Dynasty formats, he might be worth a stash on the taxi squad in deep leagues where you can draft him in the fifth round of rookie drafts. Dynasty managers will be hopeful that the situation in Green Bay shakes up in a year or two. Or managers are hopeful Hill finds himself in a different situation closer to the start of the season if he doesn’t make the 53 man roster in Green Bay and gets picked up elsewhere.