Green Bay Packers bolster offense, draft Boston College running back in 2nd round of NFL draft
GREEN BAY — The Green Bay Packers added another piece to the offensive side of the ball in the second round of the NFL draft. The team selected Boston College running back A.J. Dillon with the 62nd overall pick.
Dillon rushed for 4,382 yards and 38 touchdowns in his three-year college career, including 1,685 yards and 14 scores last season. Dillon was one of the busiest running backs in college football with 845 carries in his three years at Boston College, but he emphasized he’s “good to go” and “healthy as can be” even after such heavy usage.
“I had a lot of carries, but that just goes to show I can handle the workload, I can be the workhorse,” Dillon said. “Everyone can know the ball’s coming to me, and I can still grind out yards.”
The Packers took Dillon one day after moving up four spots in the first round to take Utah State quarterback Jordan Love with the 26th overall pick. Selecting offensive players in the first two rounds represents a change from the Packers’ traditional draft approach.
Before this season, the Packers hadn’t used a first-round pick on offense since taking Mississippi State tackle Derek Sherrod at No. 32 overall in 2011. The Packers went with defense with their first two picks last year, their first three draft choices in 2018 and their first four selections in 2017.
The selection of Dillon also doesn’t necessarily seem to fill an immediate need. Green Bay already has Aaron Jones, who rushed for 1,084 yards and 16 touchdowns last season. Jamaal Williams is a capable complementary back.
But running back could be a major concern a year from now, as both Jones and Williams are potential free agents in 2021. At least for now, the Packers believe all three backs should work well together.
“That’s a three-headed beast that can come in and take this running game to the next level,” Packers college scout Mike Owen said. “You’ve got a nice mixture of running styles. Aaron Jones is more like lightning and you’ve got the thunder with A.J. Dillon and Jamaal Williams.”
Owen noted that Dillon’s physical running style at 6 feet and 247 pounds will enable him to wear defenses down particularly when the weather gets colder. Dillon noted that he’s accustomed to playing in cold weather after playing high school and college football in the state of Massachusetts.
Dillon had only 21 career catches at Boston College, though he said that was mainly because he played in a run-oriented offense.
“I’d say I’m for sure an all-purpose back, somebody who can do everything – run the ball, catch and obviously protect the quarterback,” Dillon said.