Packers running back A.J. Dillon has some high goals for 2021.
A second-round pick in the 2020 draft, Dillon didn’t play much as a rookie. He was on the field for only 97 offensive snaps and 65 special teams snaps.
But with running back Jamaal Williams signing with the Lions as a free agent, Dillon is now presumably the backup to Aaron Jones. With an increased role for his second year, Dillon said Wednesday he feels that he and Jones “can be the best running back tandem in the league.”
“You look at us and you see thunder and lightning — which absolutely we are,” Dillon said, via Ryan Wood of the Green Bay Press-Gazette. “But the lightning guy, Aaron, he can also grind out some yards. And the thunder guy, myself, I like to say I can still beat some guys running away from them. So I feel like we bring, we both definitely have our strengths. But we bring two backs and the entire running back room is capable of guys who can do it all.”
Jones and Dillon have the potential to be a particularly effective duo. But Cleveland’s Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt are the current leaders in the clubhouse for best tandem. Both players reached over 1,000 yards from scrimmage in 2020. Chubb had 1,067 rushing yards and 12 touchdowns with 150 receiving yards. Hunt had 841 rushing yards with 304 receiving yards and 11 total touchdowns.
Jones rushed for a career-high 1,104 yards with nine touchdowns in 2020. He signed a four-year, $48 million deal to stay with the Packers this offseason. Dillon received only 46 carries for 242 yards with a pair of TDs in the regular season as a rookie.