An increased role opens the door for breakout season
3. RB AJ Dillon
With Aaron Jones and Jamaal Williams ahead of him on the depth chart last season, opportunities were limited for second-round pick AJ Dillon. Well, that’s all about to change.
Williams now plays for the Detroit Lions, opening the door for Dillon to become the number two running back. And in Matt LaFleur’s offense, that means plenty of opportunities. Williams had 119 carries and played on 40 percent of Green Bay’s offensive snaps last season. There will be a lot of work for Dillon in his second season.
The Packers couldn’t have asked for anything more from Dillon when he did get opportunities last season. We can all remember his dominant performance against the Tennessee Titans on a snowy evening at Lambeau Field. According to Austin Gayle of Pro Football Focus, he forced nine missed tackles that night and, of his 124 rushing yards, over 90 came after contact. Oh, and he found the end zone twice.
A small sample size, yes, but Dillon had one opportunity as a featured back and hit it out of the park. On the season, he averaged 5.3 yards per carry.
Give Dillon more carries and he can play a huge role in Green Bay’s offense. We’ll get to see that in 2021.