Packers: AJ Dillon set for breakout season in 2021

Green Bay Packers, AJ Dillon (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
Green Bay Packers, AJ Dillon (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) /

When AJ Dillon‘s name was announced as the Green Bay Packers‘ second-round draft pick in 2020, and not a wide receiver, it was met with confusion from fans and analysts alike.

With Aaron Jones and Jamaal Williams both on the roster, why invest a high draft pick on a player who would likely begin his career as the Packers’ third-string running back?

While a fair question at the time as Dillon did in fact play a limited role as a rookie, third on the depth chart, it’s now much clearer why the pick made so much sense. With Williams departing in free agency this year, Dillon steps into a greater role.

Dillon didn’t get a lot of rushing attempts in his rookie season but he made the most of his opportunities, averaging 5.3 yards per carry.

AJ Dillon set for breakout second season with Packers

What should get Packers fans most excited is how Dillon performed when he did get a significant share of the carries. We can all remember Dillon running through the Tennessee Titans’ defense with ease on a snowy night at Lambeau Field.

Dillon averaged 5.9 yards per attempt that evening in a dominant 40-14 Packers victory over a contender in the AFC. In total, Dillon carried the ball 21 times, rushing for 124 yards and finding the end zone twice.

If there was any doubt that Dillon can make an impact in Matt LaFleur’s offense, he went a long way to easing those concerns with that great performance.

It’s exciting to think about how dominant the Packers’ rushing attack can be with the explosiveness of Aaron Jones and the power of Dillon.

Dillon can wear down a defense. And if there’s one thing an opponent doesn’t want, it’s Jones running at them when their front seven is tired.

Jamaal Williams signing with the Detroit Lions means Dillon will need to step up and play a much bigger role on offense this year. He impressed at every opportunity last season and is set for a breakout year in 2021.