The Unpacking Future Packers Countdown is a countdown of 100 prospects who could be selected by the Green Bay Packers in the 2023 NFL Draft.
The Green Bay packers have their one-two at running back with Aaron Jones and AJ Dillon. Now Brian Gutekunst has to find the third running back.
One running back the Green Bay general manager could target on day three of the 2023 NFL Draft is Evan Hull. The Northwestern running back checks in at number 31 on the Unpacking Future Packers countdown.
Hull, a three-star Minnesota recruit, hit six rushing touchdowns in his first two seasons on campus. In 2021, Hull rushed for 1,009 yards and seven touchdowns. He also caught 33 receptions for 264 yards and two touchdowns.
Last season, Hull rushed for 913 yards and five touchdowns. He added 546 yards and two touchdowns. He led FBS running backs with 55 receptions.
“Hull was the engine of a pretty terrible Northwest offensive,” said Ethan Segall, Editor-in-Chief of Inside NU. “Hull, by far the best positional player on the team, was asked to put in a lot in all phases of offense. He’s had 20 or more touches in 8 of 12 games this season, including a 30-carry game against Ohio State. Hull’s rushed numbers declined slightly as of 2021, due in large part to the one-note nature of Northwestern’s offense. The defenses were sold out to hold Hull in check without much risk of air attack.”
The Northwestern running back is one of the best pass-catching backs in the 2023 NFL draft. Over the past two seasons, Hull has had 88 receptions for 810 yards and four touchdowns. During those two years, Hull was targeted 108 times and only had four drops.
“Hull is a true third behind,” Segall said. “At running backs, Hull led the nation in both receptions and receiving yards. Against Duke, Hull had a whopping 14 receptions for 213 yards and a touchdown. His sharp route running and flair for open space make him a quarterback’s friend outside the backfield.”
Hull has soft, reliable hands. He loops the ball off his frame like a wide receiver. Northwestern placed him in the slot on occasion during the past season. When it comes to pass protection, Hull shows good awareness and has the functional strength to thwart oncoming traffic.
“One of the key things that often prevents young running backs from getting game time early on is the inability to maintain pass protection,” Segall said. “That will not be the case with Hull. In his three-down role, Hull has ample pass protection experience and should be a plus player early in his NFL career.”
Hull possesses good vision, with quick eyes to locate cutback lanes. He is a patient runner and allows blockages to develop. He has quick feet and is an instinctive runner. The Minnesotan native has a strong lower body and reasonable contact balance, shooting 602 yards up after contact (PFF). He’s more than capable of tearing down chunk plays, having finished last season with 14 carries for 15 yards. At the scouting combine, Hull clocked a 4.47-40-yard time.
“Hull had solid testing at the NFL Combine, but he’s not going to impress you with sheer athleticism like some of the other defensemen in this draft class,” Segall said. “His greatest strengths in the open field are his excellent view of the field and his quick changes of direction. He posted a strong number on the 3-cone drill and showed that speed.”
Fit with the packers
The Packers need to add a running back behind Jones and Dillon. With his counter-attacking ability, Hull could be the perfect complement to Jones and Dillon.
The Northwest defender also has limited experience with recoils (nine tries) and punts (one try). He finished his career with 120 special team snaps.
“Hull will likely need to prove himself on special teams first, but he has all the makings of a great special teams player while also having the skills to earn the trust of his coaches early in his career,” Segall said. “Hull held his ground at the Senior Bowl and excelled in agility and speed, which is usually a strong predictor of success in the pros. Hull has been improving every year and is a third-day pick for almost any NFL roster looking to expand their running back room.
Jones turns 29 in December. Dillon is in the last year of his rookie contract. It’s likely that at least one of them, maybe even both, won’t be back next year.
Working behind Jones and Dillon, Hull may not see much action during his rookie campaign. However, the NFL draft is all about long-term projection, and Hull has the tools to make an instant impact as a pass-catching back for the Packers.
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Source : sports.yahoo.com