The Green Bay Packers made the surprising decision to take Boston College running back AJ Dillon with their second-round pick in the 2020 NFL Draft. Even though they already had Aaron Jones and Jamaal Williams on the roster, Brian Gutekunst and company loved what they saw from Dillon.
Standing in at 6-foot-0 and nearly 250 pounds, Dillon is a powerful back. He put up huge numbers for Boston College and could very well end up being a starter for the Packers in the future. Both Jones and Williams are in the final years of their contract.
Pro Football Focus has revealed a new intriguing grade for Dillon’s 2019 season. He ranked first in the nation in grade against eight or more defenders in the box.
During the 2019 season with Boston College, Dillon ended up carrying the football 318 times for 1,685 yards and 14 touchdowns. Those numbers average out to an impressive 5.3 yards per carry.
Averaging 5.3 yards per carry against a stacked box is no easy task. Boston College didn’t have a dangerous passing game to keep defenses honest. Being able to dominate despite that kind of defensive attention speaks volumes about Dillon.
Many fans are wondering what kind of role the Packers will give Dillon in his rookie season. He will play behind Jones and Williams, but should still receive some carries.
At this point in time, it seems likely that he will receive the bulk of his carries in short-yardage situations. He could also come in handy at the goal line. Matt LaFleur and the Packers are going to figure out how to get him on the field.
Having a running back as strong and difficult to bring down as Dillon is always a plus. He may not have elite speed, but he does have solid speed for a back with his strength and size.
Dillon absolutely has star potential if he develops fully. Thankfully, the Packers are a great landing spot for a young running back. Aaron Rodgers is still an elite quarterback and the running game still has great opportunities for big plays.
Expect to see AJ Dillon play a decent amount in 2020. He isn’t going to start or receive 15 carries per game, but he will carve out a role. When everything is said and done, the Packers may have gotten a major steal with him.