The Green Bay Packers have never had a running back quite like AJ Dillon. While attending Boston College, Dillon accumulated 4,382 rushing yards and 40 total touchdowns. And he did it at 250 pounds. However, now that Dillon is in the NFL, it’s a whole different ball game when it comes to normal wear and tear. Sure he looks impressive as a rookie, but there may be a time down the road where Dillon may want to cut some weight.
When looking at Dillon, there are not many flaws that meet the eye. After all, the guy ran a 4.53-forty and leaped 41 inches on his vertical testing at the NFL Combine. Then there are his massive legs, which have been the talk of training camp.
“He has got some massive legs,” LaFleur said, via ESPN.com. “That’s something we talked about with our staff, we have not seen a running back built like that — not in my career, that I’ve been around. He walks around pretty comfortably at 250 for a back and moves really well.”
High praise, especially coming from a coach that was around Derrick Henry for a year. Even though he looks like a bruiser, Dillon considers himself a complete back. He’ll need to be if he wants to last in Green Bay.
The Packers already had two solid running backs when they selected
Dillon in the second round. Many hope Aaron Jones is up next for a contract extension, but that could change if he gets hurt and Dillon is the real deal. So far, he’s checking all the boxes.
However, Dillon’s biggest hurdle could be time itself. NFL running backs already have a short shelf life, and a back his size is not common in today’s NFL landscape. Jerome Bettis carried 250 pounds around pretty well during his 13-year career, but those examples are very few.
Eddie Lacy was the last “big” back to come through Green Bay, and it still leaves a bad taste to think about what could have been. Lacy was fun to watch and easy to root for, but his issues with staying in shape proved to be his downfall.
It doesn’t look like Dillon is headed down a similar path at all. He takes his conditioning very seriously, but carrying around 250 pounds is a lot easier at age 22 than it is at 28 and after six years in the league.
Here’s hoping Dillon has a great start to his career in Green Bay, but the day may come where wants to shed a few pounds to elongate his career or avoid injury.
___________________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.