The Dallas Cowboys could be looking to the SEC for some improvement with their running back group as the team met with Mississippi State rusher Kylin Hill at the Senior Bowl, per NFL Network’s Jane Slater. The Cowboys also conducted meetings with Houston defensive end Payton Turner and Miami pass rusher Quincy Roche according to Slater’s report. This is likely far from an exhaustive list of all the players the Cowboys connected with while in Mobile.
Hill played in just three games last season for the Bulldogs notching 15 carries for 58 yards before opting out in November. The Mississippi State running back was one of the best rushers in college football during the previous season posting a career-high 1,350 yards and 10 touchdowns in 2019. Hill also added 18 receptions for 180 yards and a touchdown. The NFL draft prospect described opting out as an “incredibly difficult decision” and also opened up about some of the challenges his family faced with COVID-19.
“2020 has been an unprecedented year, filled with uncertainty due to a pandemic that has forced all of us to adapt as best as possible,” Hill said in a statement, per Clarion Ledger. “With that, and after much prayer and discussion with my family, I have decided to opt out for the remainder of the season and declare for the 2021 NFL Draft. This has been an incredibly difficult decision, but one that I feel is best for me at this time.”
Hill Is Likely a Day 2-3 Pick in the 2021 NFL Draft
Having covered the Senior Bowl in-person for the past several years, it is difficult for running backs to stand out in practice since there is no tackling until gameday. Hill and others do have the advantage of showing off their footwork along with pass-catching ability in drills.
The running back is not a player the Cowboys will consider at No. 10 but could be someone in the day two to three range the team looks at to add depth at the position. The Draft Wire’s Jacob Infante detailed why Hill turned heads at the Senior Bowl praising his blocking ability.
“Mississippi State RB Kylin Hill has been impressing me today,” Infante tweeted. “Not only has he proven to be a tough runner in between the tackles, but he’s done a really nice job as a blocker, too. Pass blocking was a strength of Hill’s on tape. #SeniorBowl”
Here is a look at Hill showing off his pass-catching ability.
The quickest way for a rookie running back to find his way onto the field is to display excellent blocking. Hill won the rep below showing off great strength as he blocked a bigger linebacker.
Could the Cowboys Move on From Ezekiel Elliott?
We cannot talk about the Cowboys’ running back position without addressing Ezekiel Elliott’s future. Elliott is technically under contract through 2026 with a potential out in 2023.
The Cowboys star running back is coming off a disappointing season and has a cap hit of $13.7 million in 2021. Dallas chose to pay up for Elliott at a time when running backs’ values are declining meaning he has little trade market as The Dallas Morning News’ David Moore detailed.
“The Cowboys are not cutting Elliott, and there’s a belief his 2020 season won’t happen again considering the injuries encountered at offensive line and at quarterback,” Moore explained. “Trading Elliott is difficult to do considering his contract. Plus, why would a team trade for a running back coming off a down year?”
Fans can expect Elliott and Tony Pollard to once again lead the team in carries next season. Yet, drafting a running back would put even more pressure on Elliott to return to his elite-level status in 2021.