With Jamaal Williams departing in the offseason, AJ Dillon is now the Green Bay Packers‘ number two running back.
That leaves a vacancy at the number three spot, and there’s plenty of competition at training camp.
Speaking to reporters on Friday, Packers head coach Matt LaFleur gave some insight into this positional battle.
“There’s great competition for that third spot,” LaFleur said.
He later added that “there’s going to be a lot of opportunity for those three guys in particular in the preseason”.
One of those players is rookie Kylin Hill, selected by the Packers in the seventh round this year and a player considered by many to be the frontrunner for the RB3 job this summer. LaFleur had high praise for Hill’s work so far at training camp.
“Kylin has done an outstanding job,” LaFleur said. “He is very explosive, he’s able to put his foot in the ground and make that one cut that we’re looking for. He has really soft hands.”
Hill is a talented player and should have a great chance at making the Packers’ 53-man roster whether they keep three or four running backs.
He only played three games at Mississippi State last season but was dominant in 2019, playing in 13 games and putting up 1,350 yards and 10 touchdowns on the ground, along with 180 receiving yards and a touchdown.
Interestingly, he improved his receiving work last season with 23 catches for 237 yards and a touchdown in only three games.
Hill’s ability as both a runner and receiver will serve him well in LaFleur’s offense, and he is right in the mix for the RB3 spot.
But Hill will face competition from other running backs on the Packers’ roster. One of them is Patrick Taylor, who LaFleur said is “one of the more intelligent players I’ve ever been around”. LaFleur said he “needs more reps”.
Another player to watch is Dexter Williams. LaFleur said he “has come so far” and is “one of the hardest workers we have on this football team”.
All three will see plenty of opportunities during the Packers’ three preseason games, with LaFleur hinting that Aaron Jones and Dillon are unlikely to play too many snaps during the exhibition games.
Competition is always a good thing and the Packers have exactly that for the RB3 spot. If more than one of them impresses over the summer, the Packers would be smart to keep four on the roster.
But the RB3 spot will lead to some work in the regular season behind Jones and Dillon. Despite being a draft pick this year, Hill faces competition for the RB3 role this season.
It will be interesting to see this battle throughout the preseason.