Jamaal Williams’ departure in the offseason created an opening at the number two spot on the depth chart behind Pro Bowler Aaron Jones. It’s an important position in Matt LaFleur’s offense as Williams proved with 296 total touches over the past two seasons.
Dillon gets the task of taking on many of those touches from Williams, but if his rookie season is anything to go by, he’s more than ready. A small sample size, yes, but Dillon impressed just about every time he had an opportunity.
NFL.com analyst and former NFL running back Maurice Jones-Drew named his year-two breakout candidates at the running back position, with Dillon one of them.
Here’s what MJD wrote about Dillon in the article:
"“With Jamaal Williams taking his talents to Detroit in the offseason, Dillon will receive a greater share of the workload in 2021. Behind starter Aaron Jones, Dillon should get a lot of opportunities in goal-line and short-yardage situations. We might have to wait a few months to see this breakout prediction come to fruition, but expect him to thrive late in the season, when he can really use those massive quads to run defenders over and help control the clock.”"
It’s hard to disagree with the former All-Pro running back. Dillon is going to be a huge part of the Packers’ offense when the conditions get tougher later in the season, especially if the team makes the playoffs.
Take last season as an example. In snowy Lambeau Field conditions, the Packers gave the ball to Dillon early and often. It was the only game all year he was featured heavily. He quite literally took the ball and ran with it, piling up 124 rushing yards with two touchdowns against the Tennessee Titans.
A fine audition that helped prove the Packers right for drafting him in the second round. He showed he can handle a big workload in LaFleur’s offense, something he may be required to do more regularly this season.
Drafting Dillon in the second round a year ago received a lot of criticism as he would likely be the third-string running back as a rookie, which he was. But with Williams now playing for a division rival, the Packers have ensured they maintain an excellent RB duo.
And Dillon could well be set for a breakout second season in Green Bay.