AJ Dillon has outgrown criticism of his selection and his role in the Packers offense
Once a derided draft pick, AJ Dillon has outgrown the criticism as well as his current role within the Packers offense.
When the Green Bay Packers handed in the draft card with AJ Dillon's name, most of their fans still found themselves in a state of shock from Jordan Love's selection the night before. But make no mistake, investing a second-round pick on a running back at a time when the vast majority of the draft industrial complex believed the team needed another field-tilting receiver represented a risk and major departure from the norm.
Dillon, of course, didn't emerge from the ether as a total unknown. During his three years at Boston College, he accounted for 4,618 yards from scrimmage and 40 touchdowns, earning three consecutive first-team All-ACC honors and making the AP third-team All-American list his final season. Dillon then blew up the NFL Scouting Combine, recording a 4.53-second 40-yard dash, a 7.19-second three-cone drill, and a 41-inch vertical at a Herculean 6-foot, 247 pounds.
Still, for all of Dillon's athletic gifts, he remains a running back, a highly fungible position and one at which the Packers already possessed considerable depth. At the time of the draft, Aaron Jones had just come off a breakout season, producing 1,558 yards from scrimmage and a league-best 19 touchdowns. His backup, Jamaal Williams, had likewise taken major strides over the previous year, increasing his yards per touch to a then-career best 4.9 and reaching the end zone on six occasions. With both Jones and Williams set to return for 2020, Dillon seemed superfluous.