Packers: Why Green Bay Could Realistically Sign Ronnie Hillman

Now that Green Bay Packers general manager Ted Thompson has signed a free agent, it’s worth asking if he’s interested in signing another.

One player that Thompson and the Packers have reportedly had discussions about signing is former Denver Broncos running back Ronnie Hillman, according to multiple reports coming out just a few days ago.

The fact that the Packers are interested in Hillman is a bit surprising, especially considering the team just re-signed James Starks to a two-year deal. However, that leaves the Packers with just two backs they can count on and in today’s NFL, that’s a little scary.

Simply put, the Packers lack depth in the backfield. And if the team ends up not bringing back John Kuhn, that’s another player that carries the ball that would no longer be with the team. Yet, even if Kuhn does return, which I think he will, Green Bay still needs another ball carrier and Hillman is a reasonable candidate.

Last season, Hillman rushed for 863 yards and scored seven touchdowns for the Super Bowl champions, while also catching 24 passes for 111 yards. He also averaged 4.2 yards per carry and during his four seasons, he has an average yard per rush of 4.1 on a total of 453 attempts.

The other positive thing about Hillman is that he is just 25 years old and he has very little tread on his tires. He’s also a guy that has played on special teams before and could do so again in Green Bay. He would also give the Packers some insurance if Eddie Lacy isn’t in as good of shape as he appears to be in his most recent photos.

Hillman isn’t a game-changing player by any means, but he is a productive┬árunner and at this point in free agency, his bargaining power is going to be very limited. I would still be a little surprised to see the Packers actually sign him, at least anytime soon.

In my opinion, Thompson is going to look to the draft to try to find his third running back. And hopefully, Green Bay can find a scat back, who can create mismatches in the passing game. That’s something┬átheir offense has really been missing (in my perspective).

Hillman is not really that kind of back, but he was known as a good pass-catcher coming out of San Diego State and it’s been surprising to me that he is struggled in that area thus far in his career.

At the end of the day, Hillman’s best chance of landing in Green Bay is after the draft. If the Packers don’t find what they are looking for in the draft or rookie free agency, Hillman could be the second free agent signed by Thompson this offseason.

 

chris peterson

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7 Comments
Anonymous

Ted has problems with 1st round picks unless someone like Rodgers or Matthews falls in his lap. Ted has missed out on a number of free agents who would have helped the team. I think he has a chip on his shoulder from his personal draft slot and him being considered an average player on a bad team.

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chris peterson

There is some truth to the fact that Thompson doesn’t have the greatest record in the first round, but drafting two hall of famers like Rodgers and Mathews is pretty good. Raji was also a pro bowl plkayer at one point. Bryan Bulaga has turned into a solid player and Nick Perry still has a chance to be a contributor as does Datone Jones. Yes, Derek Sherrod and Justin Harrell were busts. But even AJ Hawks was a solid player. Clinton Dix and Randall also look to be pro bowlers soon, so you aren’t really right that he can’t pick in the first. And even though he hasn’t always gotten great results in the first round, he has done a great job in rounds 2-3 drafting Nelson, Cobb, Hayward, Finley, Greg Jennings, James Jones, Lacy, Morgan Burnett, then in the 4th and 5th hes gotten guys like Josh Sitton, Lang, Linsley, Bahktiari, Tretter and Mike Daniels. That’s five current starts from mid rounds. His record is probably as good as any in the last 10 years drafting. He’s had some busts, but more ofthen than not, he comes away with 2-3 good players from every draft and honeslty that’s all you can hope for. If you get two starters in a draft, it’s good, you get 3-4, that’s great. Your expectations are just too high. And teams aren’t built on free agency. There are always guys that seem like they will help, then end up being cut the next year after getting a big money deal. The Vikes, Bears and Lions have all spent way more on free agents over the years, yet GB is the only team that has won consistently over the last decade. The only team thas has been more consistent than GB is New England. No one else has 7 straight playoff appearances. In fact, no one in the NFC is even close to that. Seatllte is second with 4.

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chris peterson

He wasn’t that bad and he played just about every snap during their super bowl season. And he was good. He wasn’t a superstar. But he was solid.

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Danang Marine

Thompson’s overall track record is hard to beat, most teams misses are in the first 2 rounds and the best area of success has been in the 3-4 rounds for long time starters. The difference with Ted vs Ron Wolf is that Wolf would move on from a “draft bust” a lot sooner (see Terrell Buckley).

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Mr Infidel

Packers missed out on a third back in Matt Forte. He would’ve been a perfect fit in the Packers offense.

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