The Packers have signed two more picks from their 2021 draft class, adding defensive lineman T.J. Slaton and running back Kylin Hill to their list according to a report from ESPN’s Rob Demovsky. That brings their total to three after sixth-round pick Cole Van Lanen signed earlier today.
At first glance, neither Slaton or Hill would seem to be among the players you’d expect to make a big impact as rookies. Both were Day 3 picks, and neither was especially heralded as a collegiate player, though they had their moments.
But both are walking into situations where they’re already on the plus side of the numbers game. Slaton, along with undrafted free agent Jack Heflin, is one of only two new defensive linemen the Packers added this offseason, joining a group that was pretty unspectacular outside of Kenny Clark last season. At a listed size of 6-foot-4 and 330 pounds, Slaton offers virtually unmatched girth up front, and could push for reps as a run plugger early.
Hill, meanwhile, joins a backfield looking for at least one more contributor after the departure of Jamaal Williams. Spots one and two on the depth chart are already well accounted for between Aaron Jones and A.J. Dillon, but beyond that it’s sparse at running back. Dexter Williams was hurt last season after the briefest of action, Patrick Taylor spent the bulk of 2020 on the PUP list, and Mike Weber barely merited a mention outside his work on the practice squad. Hill, like Slaton, could make his presence felt early if he makes the most of his opportunities this summer.