Why the Packers’ AJ Dillon will overtake Aaron Jones as the Packers’ star in 2022

When we think of the Packers running game, we think of Aaron Jones. He’s been a friend in the backfield since 2018, which is like a decade ago in NFL time. He led the NFL in rushing in 2019 when he eclipsed the 1,000-yard plateau for the first time and had another 1,000-yard-plus season in 2020 that prompted the Packers to sign him to a four-year deal. to a $48 million contract with $13 million fully guaranteed. March

This season the torch will be passed in the Packers backfield like the Spotted Cow from the bartenders to the patrons at Lenny’s Tap in Green Bay.

AJ Dillon will become a defining feature for Aaron Rodgers’ squad and emerge as one of the best young running backs in the game.

Dillon, also known as Quadzilla thanks to the large size of his front leg muscles, was a controversial second-round pick in the 2020 draft, but averaged 5.3 on 46 carries as a rookie. yards per carry.

And really fast — who had the most carries during the 2021 regular season on the Packers? What a fool! He outscored Jones 187 to 171. Jones was more efficient, averaging 4.7 yards per Dillon to 4.3.

But Jones, who turns 28 in December, now has more than 1,000 career touches (including playoffs) in his NFL career. Dillon has 286 professional touches to date. Those thick legs are fresh. And both backs were relatively efficient from an analytical perspective in 2021.

AJ Dillon 3.14 15.9%

Aaron Jones

3.15

21.3%

Last year, Jones was a better, more efficient runner. There is no doubt about it. But their proximity to power and ridiculous numbers combined with the wide disparity in mileage on their bodies suggests a breakout is imminent for Dillon as he transitions into an undoubtedly signature role in Green Bay.

Neither receiver will be overlooked this season, with the Packers trading DeVante Adams to the Raiders this offseason, and Jones has himself with 45-plus receptions in each of the past five seasons. has established himself as the game’s best pass-catching back, with a career-high 52 last season.

And doesn’t it feel like the next offensive trend poised to take the NFL by storm is extending the careers of former feature backs by turning them into receiving hybrids? Jones and Austin Eckler will be at the forefront of this movement. Even if it doesn’t start across the league, the line between running backs and receivers is becoming increasingly narrow each season, and Jones has receiver skills.

All of this means that Dylan is in line to fill the traditional, middle-of-the-road role in Matt LaFleur’s offense, with Shanahan’s principles often rocking despite Rodgers’ omnipresence at quarterback. will hit

Will Dillon get three times as many carries in Jones in 2022? No, maybe not. But by November, we’ll know who the real feature back is for one of the most dynamic offenses in the NFC. That man would be Dillon and his impossibly powerful thighs.