Packers fans have a reason to gloat this season, and I’m not talking about the MVP. I believe they just might have the best running back group in the NFL….
All eyes were on Aaron Jones in the off season as he looked set to hit the open market, before Green Bay closed the exit to the franchise and re-signed him to a four year $48M deal with $13M guaranteed. A statement from the franchise amidst theories that they were about to let him simply walk away.
Aaron Jones comes off back to back 1000 yard plus seasons, and 25 rushing touchdowns in those two years. Not only that, but as running backs go, only missing two games in the last two seasons is pretty good going too. Not to mention the 5 additional TD’s he added through the air… He’s a fantastic all rounder and has been a key piece to the Packers offence for multiple years now. His consistency is undervalued, averaging 5.5 yards per attempt on the dot in 3 out of 4 seasons. His career average since entering the league is 5.2.
Then it gets interesting, with the Packers choosing to controversially draft AJ Dillon in the 2nd round of the 2020 draft, while many believed a receiver would make a lot of sense to give Rodgers a little more help. However, fast forward a year and they might have just gone and done something. Dillon’s contribution was minimal in yardage and carries but he still averaged another 5.2 yards per attempt… Not so far behind Aaron Jones. He’s also a very different type of back. Jones is 5’9 208. Dillon is 6’0 250! He’s a powerhouse.
The Packers have contributors in Patrick Taylor Jr and Dexter Williams, but the guy i’m hyped about is Kylin Hill. The Packers scooped Hill in the 7th round of the 2021 draft, and the former Mississippi State Bulldog might have slipped further than he should have due to the opt out.
Hill played in three games in 2020 before opting to focus on the draft and skip the remainder of the season. His 2018 and 2019 tape is where you should focus. He made partial contribution in 2018 adding a whopping 6.3 yards per attempt for over 700 yards and 4 TDs, but in 2019, while his YPA was down to 5.5, his total rushing yardage ended up at 1,348 yards and 10 TDs. He ran all over Arkansas in 2019, for 234 yards and 3 touchdowns, and Kylin Hill also only ever fumbled the ball once in his entire college football career, which came in his freshman year.
Hill jumped up the depth chart after really impressing in the preseason, particularly against Buffalo, where he played with Green Bays back ups, against a lot of Buffalo’s starters. I’ve now got him as RB3 on the depth chart, and taking reps in the regular season.
These three backs compliment each other so well. They have somebody that can do everything. Dillon is a monster. Aaron Jones is so technically gifted and brings a genuine receiving threat out of the backfield, and Kylin Hill is speedy, shifty, and can make a great cut. He makes himself small and slides through gaps. He’s a pleasure to watch.
So, as a result, I’m declaring this the best running back trio in the NFL. Okay other rosters might have slightly more gifted number 1s. I’ll accept that, but this running back room, with Matt LaFleur calling the shots, the Packers very strong offensive line with standouts like Bakhtiari and Elgton Jenkins… it might be the best the league has to offer. Green Bay graded third in the NFL last season on run game, behind only Tennessee and Minnesota. They could be number 1 in 2021, and it could be a pivotal reason for them challenging the Bucs for a title in the NFC. High praise? Well deserved. I’ll be taking a one way ticket to gloat city when I’m right too.
The Best Running Back Group In The NFL…The Best Running Back Group In The NFL…The Best Running Back Group In The NFL…