2020 Raiders Draft Prospect Profile
Name: Kylin Hill
Position: Running Back
School: Mississippi State University
Weight: 215 pounds
Pressing play on the tape, Hill’s nasty streak jumps out immediately. With the ball in his hands, Hill seeks out the linebacker in space. Similarly, in traffic, his penchant for violent running surfaces. Using a low center of gravity and knack for using the shoulder, Hill breaks flimsy arm tackles. Equally important, he will finish tackles with authority, forcing the defender to make the play. If not, his legs keep churning and gains yards after contact.
Granted, Hill may not blow by a defender. Yet, his explosion will generate large chunks of yardage. While he may not win an all-out footrace, Hill will accumulate those twenty yard gains. He profiles as a burst back. However, despite his forceful approach, Hill looks to use a functional cut in space to shake defenders. With that said, the most surprising aspect is Hill’s ease and ability in vaulting over would-be tacklers. That is to say, if a defender decides to attack low, he will clear them with little difficulty.
After not catching a pass in nine of his first nineteen games, Hill began to develop a knack for the swing pass. After that, he tallied two or more grabs in nine of his last seventeen contests. Initially, Hill would fight the ball into his hands. Now, with more reps, he could conceivably become a viable options.
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In the 2019 offseason, the Raiders inked veteran Isaiah Crowell to a one-year deal. Unfortunately, Crowell suffered a season-ending Achilles tendon injury. Consequently, the team rolled with Jalen Richard and DeAndre Washington backing up Josh Jacobs. For all of their effort, they appear to be eerily similar. However, with a late-season slew of injuries to Josh Jacobs, Washington proved his worth within the offense. On the other hand, Richard’s glaring lack of pop or hard running, sticks out like a sore thumb. While his receiving totals help his case, he cannot function as a complete back in this offense. If the Raiders retain Washington and move on from Richard, they will need to fill the void with a back that brings some thump to the table.
Hill runs the way Jon Gruden fancies. With a contact-driven approach, Hill grinds out yards either between the tackles or on the boundary. While Josh Jacobs firmly entrenched as the cornerstone back, the Raiders need an upgrade on the depth chart. Too often, teams will just load the backend with just spot fillers. However, Hill presents little approach change to Jacobs. If the Raiders continue to prefer bludgeoning opponents behind a massive offensive line, Jacobs needs a similar backup.
With the ball in his hands, Hill accumulates first downs, chunk yardage and the occasional red zone pop. The worst kept secret in football remains that Jon Gruden wants to run the ball twenty-five times or more per game. As a result, he will tax the running back group for these carries. In no way, shape or form should Jacobs tote the ball three hundred times per season. Hill could shave off 50-75 carries in a season. Under those circumstances, Jacobs can close out the second half of games, battering already tired defenses.