Potential AJ Dillon replacements for Packers in 2024 NFL Draft

Green Bay Packers, AJ Dillon
Green Bay Packers, AJ Dillon / Kathryn Riley/GettyImages

With AJ Dillon's time with the Green Bay Packers likely coming to an end, Brian Gutekunst and company need to start looking for a potential replacement.

Dillon will be an unrestricted free agent on March 13, the start of the new league year, and all signs point toward his departure.

If the Packers move on from their former second-round pick, they will need to use one of their 11 draft selections on Dillon's replacement.

Who could they target? Here are five potential replacements in the 2024 NFL Draft.

Running backs Packers could target to replace AJ Dillon in 2024 NFL Draft

1. Jonathon Brooks, Texas

After sitting behind NFL backs Bijan Robinson and Roschon Johnson for two years, Jonathon Brooks excelled when given a chance to be the lead back for the Longhorns this year.

In 11 games, Brooks tallied up 1,135 yards on 187 carries at 6.1 yards per attempt. Brooks' success on the ground helped Texas to a staggering 11-0 in the games he played, with wins against ranked teams like Alabama, Oklahoma, Kansas, and Kansas State, which helped propel Texas to a Big 12 title and an appearance in the College Football Playoff.

Unfortunately, Brooks suffered a torn ACL against TCU in November, ruling him out for the second half of the season, which included Texas' only loss to Washington in the Sugar Bowl. According to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, Brooks is still expected to be cleared and ready to go by the start of training camp.

Brooks fits the Packers' offense, being a one-cut style of back like Aaron Jones. He projects to go in the second to third round, so Gutekunst scooping him up with either pick 41 or 58 is a possibility.

2. Bucky Irving, Oregon

After starting his collegiate career at Minnesota, Mar'Keise Irving, better known as Bucky, took his talents west to Dan Lanning's Oregon Ducks. Under Lanning, the former Hillcrest Hawk saw his rushing yardage jump from 496 in Minnesota to 1,064 in his first year and 1,192 in his second year in Eugene.

Irving did not have the greatest NFL Combine, putting up a Relative Athletic Score of 3.71 out of 10, which measures how athletic a player is compared to their position.

However, despite the disappointing 40-yard dash time, Irving tested a 9.01 out of 10 on his 10-yard split, which is more applicable to the NFL game speed than running 40 yards in a straight line. Irving's game has always been built around his shiftiness, vision, and ability in the passing game.

Irving could fall to the third or fourth round with his less-than-ideal Combine. The Packers currently have two picks in the third.

3. Trey Benson, Florida State

If Brian Gutekunst is looking for speed, Trey Benson is one of the best options he'll find in the draft.

Benson had an outstanding NFL Combine, putting up an RAS score of 9.77 out of 10. His 40-yard time of 4.39 and 10-yard split of 1.52 are standouts, especially considering his measured height and weight of 6-foot-2 and 216 pounds.

Benson's not just a combine riser, however. The former Seminole put up almost 1,000 yards on 6.2 yards per carry. Benson is a hard runner who does not go down easily, and pairing that with his blazing speed makes him a dangerous back.

Benson could jump into the second round following his Combine performance. Pick 58 seems like a natural fit.

4. Braelon Allen, Wisconsin

If the Packers like the "thunder and lightning" concept of Dillon and Jones, Badger star Braelon Allen fits like a glove into Dillon's role.

Growing up an hour from Green Bay in Fon Du Lac, Allen has Wisconsin in his DNA. He immediately became the starting back in Madison, totaling over 180 carries in his three seasons with the Badgers. Allen ran for 3,482 yards at 5.8 yards per carry. He is also similar to Dillon size-wise, being 6-foot-2 and 245 pounds compared to Dillon's 6-foot, 247-pound frame.

Despite all of this production in the Big 10, one of the toughest defensive conferences in the nation, that isn't Allen's biggest upside. By the time the season starts, Allen will be only 20 years old. With Aaron Jones' contract expiring after next season, Allen could come in and potentially force his way into a lead-back role in Green Bay for years to come.

Allen is a bruising, physical back who can come in and demoralize defenses even better than Dillon did. He fits what Matt LaFleur likes in a running back tandem with Aaron Jones. Allen slots in as a potential Day 3 pick, where Green Bay has a multitude of selections to use on him.

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