In Wisconsin, Milwaukee Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo is known as “the freak” due to his incredible size, wingspan, and athleticism. If the Green Bay Packers had their own version of Antetokounmpo, it might be running back AJ Dillon. The rookie has yet to play his first NFL snap, but coaches and teammates are excited about the possibilities surrounding Dillon.
“It’s just like bionic,” Packers wide receiver Allen Lazard said of Dillon’s size in a video chat with Bleacher Report’s Adam Lefkoe. “His quads are like Saquon’s (Barkley). He’s 250 (pounds).”
While 250 lbs. is pretty big for a running back, Lazard says Dillon carries his weight well from what he’s seen in workouts.
“He knows how to carry his weight, be able to shift and move,” said Lazard.
Green Bay’s receiver jokingly added that it’s been difficult to keep with up Dillon in the weight room despite Dillon being a rookie. According to Lazard, “he’s been great to work out with,” as having Dillon there to push him during the offseason has been beneficial.
The word explosive is only scratching the surface when it comes to describing the second-round pick. After looking back at Dillon’s combine measurements, one can’t help but be impressed. The 6-0, 250-pound product out of Boston College ran a 4.53, recorded a 41-inch vertical, a 10’11” broad jump, and 23 reps on the bench press.
Dillon easily had one of the best combines of all the running backs from this year’s class. That’s probably why the Packers liked him enough to take him early in the draft. It could also be his fit with Matt LaFleur’s offense.
During LaFleur’s lone season with the Tennessee Titans, he worked with Derrick Henry. Henry is now one of the most dominant runners in the league and arguably the most physically imposing back. LaFleur probably saw a little bit of Henry when watching Dillon.
Rarely, do teams spend a day one or even a day two pick on a running back, but Green Bay felt they couldn’t pass on Dillon. Aaron Jones and Jamaal Williams really can’t compare to Dillon’s physical and athletic profile, but Jones is still the presumed starter.
However, if Dillon continues to turn heads and proves to be the right fit for how LaFleur envisions his offense, he will more than likely be the running back of the future.
___________________Brandon Carwile was a Cheesehead at birth. His dad grew up attending games at Lambeau and passed on the legacy. He has covered the Packers for over five years and currently works with packerstalk.com. Find him on twitter at @PackerScribe.