Last week, as part of the RotoViz Rookie Review Series, I took a look at Rams running back Cam Akers and some of his closest rookie comps according to the RotoViz Screener. For this week’s article, I take a look at yet another running back, but one who saw significantly less work than Akers did in 2020.
The Green Bay Packers had a controversial rookie draft class. Coming off a 2019 season in which they went 13-3 and lost in the Conference Championship round of the playoffs, the Packers entered 2020 on the precipice of a Super Bowl appearance.
So, what did the Packers need to do in the draft to take the next step? According to most, it was find another wide receiver in a class rich with receiver talent. It was fairly obvious that 2020 was the year to improve the weapons around Aaron Rodgers.
Instead of doing the obvious, the Packers elected to go in a different direction during the draft. They took Utah State quarterback Jordan Love in the first round with the 26th overall pick. In the second round the Packers then drafted running back A.J. Dillon out of Boston College, to serve as a backup to incumbents Aaron Jones and Jamaal Williams.
You don’t have to search too hard to find a Packers fan who was disappointed with the team’s draft in 2020, and fantasy analysts weren’t too far behind them.
Despite the underwhelming results that last year’s draft class brought the Packers, we could be just weeks away from seeing the investment in Dillon begin to pay off. Aaron Jones is entering free agency in March, and it’s expected that he will field offers from other teams that could lure him away from Green Bay.
Should Jones leave, Dillon could be well on his way to a breakout season in 2021. Is he ready to handle that role should the keys to the Packers offense be given to him?
Let’s find out!
Combine and Comps
Early into the draft process, Dillon wowed scouts and analysts alike with his Derrick Henry-like physique. Standing at 6 feet tall and weighing in at 247 pounds at the combine, Dillon looked like he escaped from the same lab that made Henry just five years earlier.
When it came time to test, Dillon posted an electrifying 4.53-forty yard dash, a 41-inch vertical jump and 23 reps on the bench – all numbers better than Henry’s when he worked out at the combine. Dillon’s 172 explosion score just bested Henry’s 167 explosion score from 2016.
When we take a look at the RotoViz Box Score Scout and adjust for non-power five conference players, we see some very encouraging comps for Dillon heading into his rookie season.