AJ Dillon made a poor start to the regular season, but he has stepped up significantly as the year has gone on. Dillon struggled to get past the first defender earlier in the season, going down far too easily. That problem was worsened by the Packers' awful run-blocking, causing Dillon to get regularly stopped behind the line of scrimmage.
The run-blocking hasn't improved, but Dillon has. Green Bay's offensive line has dominated in pass protection but offered nothing in the run game. According to ESPN, the Packers rank second in pass block win rate but 28th in run block win rate.
But Dillon is playing with physicality and making plays in every phase, whether it's running hard, blocking, or as a pass-catcher. Even when the stat sheet doesn't back up Dillon's strong performances, he is making an impact.
Where Dillon has made a significant improvement is as a receiver. Dillon made only three catches for 25 yards in the opening five games. In the previous six games, Dillon has 16 receptions for 159 yards.
He is often there for a dump-off pass when Jordan Love needs to check it down, and Dillon has shown an ability to pick up yards after the catch. Last week, he even hurdled a Lions defender to pick up a first down, turning it into a 22-yard gain.
We are seeing explosive plays at important times. Another example was his career-high 40-yard run against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
With Aaron Jones missing so much time, the Packers have relied on Dillon to make plays despite the lack of help from the offensive line. With Jones facing an uncertain future in 2024, Green Bay may decide to offer Dillon a one- or two-year deal.