The undeniably explosive running back, AJ Dillon, will be a special asset for the Packers going forward.
The Green Bay Packers fininshed the 2019 season with two stud running backs in Aaron Jones and Jamaal Williams.
Jones came out of 2019 with a breakout season accumulating 1,558 all-purpose yards while crossing the goal line a staggering 19 times for touchdowns. This is an all-time year for most running backs as he was tied for first in both rushing TDs and total TDs.
Williams finished 2019 with solid backup production finishing with 713 all-purpose yards while accumulating six touchdowns.
So why the need for the Packers to draft running back AJ Dillon in the 2020 second round (62nd pick)?
Why the need for the Packers to bolster an already strong running back position when they have much bigger needs?
Before becoming the Packers’ young and outstanding head coach in 2019, Matt LaFleur was the offensive coordinator for the Tennessee Titans in 2018. He had the privilege to coach arguably the best running back in football: Derrick Henry.
LaFleur witnessed what he was able to accomplish with Derrick Henry in December. In tough winter conditions, while defenses were showing fatigue, Henry averaged 125 rushing yards a game with eight touchdowns in five December games.
The Titans flourished through December going on a five-game winning streak, coming just short of a wild-card birth.
Matt LaFleur saw similarities to Derrick Henry in AJ Dillon. He saw how effective Henry was down the stretch and wanted the Packers to have a similar asset.
Dillon is six-feet, 247 pounds and ran an impressive 4.53 40-yard dash at the 2020 NFL Combine. Dillon’s bone-bruising abilities while being able to maintain explosiveness is quite breathtaking.
Dillon has mastered the art of breaking tackles using his physical nature along with his ability to bend around pressure.
The ability to wear down a defense with tough, physical runs, is important. It puts pressure on the opposing defense to maintain their focus on Dillon, awarding Aaron Rodgers more time in the pocket on play-action plays.
This was evident in Dillon’s first game surpassing 10 touches in Week 16 against the Titans.
In a late December game, Dillon was able to wear down the Titans defense, rushing for 124 yards and two touchdowns on 21 carries. His physical style opened up the offense for Rodgers to torch the Titans for four TDs.
AJ Dillon is the second coming of Derrick Henry. Displaying his ability to wear down defenses late in the season heading into the playoffs, will prove why he is an extremely eye-catching asset for the Packers’ foreseeable future.
With Aaron Jones and Jamaal Williams heading into free agency this offseason, Dillon will be able to prove his worth through the 2020 NFL playoffs.