2021 NFL Draft Profile: RB Kylin Hill
Coming into the 2020 NFL Draft, there was quite a bit of buzz surrounding Kylin Hill and whether or not he would declare. He was coming off of a 1,350-yard season and averaging 5.6 yards per carry, which caught the attention of NFL scouts and fans alike. He certainly had his supporters, but there were questions about where exactly he would slot in with the top-tier RBs in that class.
Hill ultimately ended up staying at Mississippi State for one more season, and he saw his usage dramatically change. He only played in 3 games this past season, and he averaged only five carries per game. However, Hill reeled in 23 receptions for over 10 yards a clip during that same time span. He was heavily featured as a part of the passing game at Mississippi State, and he flourished in the role.
Hill opted out after the three games to prepare for the 2021 NFL Draft, and therefore the general public isn’t remembering how impactful Hill can be when he’s on the field. The Senior Bowl helped raise his stock a bit again, but many questions are surrounding Hill and what he can bring to an NFL depth chart.
Can Hill be a true workhorse back at the NFL level? Or is he destined for a 3rd-down role?
These questions are answered here in our scouting profile on Kylin Hill.
RB Kylin Hill, Mississippi State
Weight: 214 lbs.
Arms: 30 1/2
Hands: 9 3/4
40-Yard Dash: 4.51
Vertical Jump: 36.0
Broad Jump: 10-2
3-Cone Drill: 7.13
Skills Breakdown (out of 100)
Vision (73): Hill’s an explosive athlete that might have a future in the NFL as a heavily targeted option out of the backfield. He tends to run upright in between the tackles and tends to let his legs get out in front of him, which prevents him from making quick and decisive movements. He has the explosiveness to take advantage of an open running lane but might not be best suited to carry the ball frequently in between the tackles. Could be lethal on wide-zone runs, though.
Burst (77): Good burst and acceleration from a standstill position. Explosive through the hole at the LOS and very decisive. He can make defenders miss in the open field with a juke/head fake and then leaning back on his explosiveness.
Change of Direction (73): Struggles to move laterally due to his footwork. He can be so explosive that he has problems throttling down his momentum to shift pass defenders at the second level. As mentioned before, it could be an issue when trying to navigate in between the tackles.
Power (72.5): Shows very few examples of using power on tape. Willing to lower his shoulder at the sideline to embrace contact but is more of an explosive player than one who will force defenders backward.
Speed (79): Tremendous straight-line speed. Can consistently pick up chunk gains when given the ball in space. He should run extremely well at his Pro Day.
Contact Balance (76.5): Good contact balance and able to break arm tackles. Will be utilized more out in space than anything else, which aids in this trait, but shows a good and natural ability to absorb contact and keep moving.
Pass Catching (79): Excellent and natural pass-catcher out of the backfield. He shows great hand-eye coordination and the ability to reel in tough grabs. Shows the potential to be utilized heavily as a pass-catcher out of the backfield at the next level.
Pass Protection (74): Willing participant in pass protection. He tends to drop his eyes or even turn his body at some points but does show good recognition of where the pressure is coming from and a willingness to stand in and engage with good technique.
KYLIN HILL TO THE CRIB ????
– Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) September 26, 2020
Ok, Kylin Hill.
– Kyle Yates (@KyleYNFL) December 1, 2019
They Said It
Projected Draft Range
Hill’s most valuable traits come into play as a receiving back, which pushes his value down draft boards. However, he has enough talent that he shouldn’t fall outside of the first three rounds. Expect Hill to be a Day 2 pick.
Ideal Fantasy Landing Spot
If the Tampa Bay Buccaneers do not add an RB throughout the remainder of free agency or the first part of the draft, Hill could be waiting for them. Pairing Hill with Ronald Jones is a smart move to compensate for Jones’s lack of receiving ability. If Jones continues to have fumbling issues, Hill has the skillset and frame to step in as the main back in this system. He’s reliable in pass protection too, which is incredibly important with a QB like Tom Brady behind center.
Cam Akers and Hill share a lot of similarities. Akers was 5’11/212 at the NFL Combine, and Hill measured in at 5’10/214. Akers ran a 4.47 40-yard dash, and Hill ran a 4.51. They’re both excellent receivers in their own right, but Akers might have just a bit more overall burst to his game. Depending on the landing spot, Hill could be asked to fill a very similar role in the NFL.
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