A. J. Dillon

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A. J. Dillon
refer to caption
Dillon with the Green Bay Packers in 2021
No. 28 – Green Bay Packers
Position:Running back
Personal information
Born: (1998-05-02) May 2, 1998 (age 24)
Baltimore, Maryland
Height:6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)
Weight:247 lb (112 kg)
Career information
High school:Lawrence Academy
(Groton, Massachusetts),
New London High School
(New London, Connecticut)
College:Boston College (2017–2019)
NFL Draft:2020 / Round: 2 / Pick: 62
Career history
Roster status:Active
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics as of 2021
Rushing yards:1,045
Rushing average:4.5
Rushing touchdowns:7
Receptions:36
Receiving yards:334
Receiving touchdowns:2
Player stats at NFL.com · PFR

Algiers Jameal William Dillon Jr. (born May 2, 1998) is an American football running back for the Green Bay Packers of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football at Boston College.

Early life and high school career[edit]

Dillon grew up in Connecticut. While on the high school football team at New London High School as a freshman, Dillon played sparingly. At that point, he was recruited to Lawrence Academy in Groton, Massachusetts, a private boarding school.[1][2] Dillon played four years at Lawrence, and was clearly the focus of the team's offense by his second year, when he rushed for 1321 yards and 21 touchdowns, while also starring at linebacker. As a junior, he rushed for 1,887 yards and 26 touchdowns. As a senior, he played in only four games due to a broken leg but still rushed for 635 yards with 12 touchdowns.[3] He ran a 4.56 40-yard dash and was named MVP of Nike's Opening.[4] Dillon originally committed to the University of Michigan to play college football but eventually flipped his commitment and signed with Boston College.[5]

College career[edit]

Freshman season[edit]

As a freshman at Boston College in 2017, Dillon played in all 13 games and rushed for a freshman school record 1,589 yards on 300 carries with 14 touchdowns.[6] He was named the ACC Rookie of the Year.[7]

Sophomore season[edit]

In his sophomore season, Dillon played in only 10 of 13 games, due to an ankle injury suffered against Temple on September 29, 2018. Despite being somewhat limited due to his injury, Dillon still recorded 1,149 total yards and 11 touchdowns, making him the first player in Boston College history to post back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons. The Eagles officially did not make postseason, as the First Responder Bowl was declared a no-contest after lightning early in the game. In the short time before lightning ended the event, he ran for 33 yards on six carries, including a touchdown run of 19 yards.

Junior season[edit]

In a game against Clemson on October 26, 2019, Dillon scored his 34th touchdown at Boston College with a 9-yard rush in the second quarter that tied him with Keith Barnette for Eagles' career rushing touchdowns record. Then in the third quarter, Dillon rushed for another 9-yard for his 3,739 yards career rushing yards that tied him with Andre Williams' record set in 2013.[8]

On December 10, 2019, Dillon announced that he will forgo his senior year eligibility at Boston College and declared for the 2020 NFL Draft. Dillon holds the program's all-time rushing record with 4,382 yards in three seasons and is 220 yards short of the Atlantic Coast Conference career rushing record. His 38 career rushing touchdowns, 40 total touchdowns and 4,618 all-purpose yards are also program records.[9]

College statistics[edit]

Season Team Conf G Rushing Receiving
Att Yds Avg TD Rec Yds Avg TD
2017 Boston College ACC 13 300 1,589 5.3 14 0 0 0.0 0
2018 Boston College ACC 10 227 1,108 4.9 10 8 41 5.1 1
2019 Boston College ACC 12 318 1,685 5.3 14 13 195 15.0 1
Career 35 845 4,382 5.2 38 21 236 11.2 2
All values from Sports Reference[10]

Professional career[edit]

Pre-draft measurables
Height Weight Arm length Hand span 40-yard dash Three-cone drill Vertical jump Broad jump Bench press
6 ft 0+38 in
(1.84 m)
247 lb
(112 kg)
31+58 in
(0.80 m)
9+58 in
(0.24 m)
4.53 s 7.19 s 41.0 in
(1.04 m)
10 ft 11 in
(3.33 m)
23 reps
All values from NFL Combine[11]

Dillon was drafted by the Green Bay Packers with the 62nd pick in the second round of the 2020 NFL Draft.[12] He signed his four-year rookie contract on July 1, 2020,[13] worth $5.3 million, with a signing bonus of $1.4 million.[14]

2020[edit]

Head coach Matt LaFleur named Dillon the third running back on the Packers' depth chart to begin the season, behind veterans Aaron Jones and Jamaal Williams. He saw his first NFL action on September 13, 2020, during a Week 1 victory over the Minnesota Vikings, logging two carries for 14 yards.[15] The following week over the Detroit Lions, Dillon rushed 5 times for 17 yards as the Packers won 42–21. He saw no action during the Packers' Week 3 victory over the New Orleans Saints, and had just one carry for 3 yards against the Atlanta Falcons the following week. In each of their next three games, Dillon carried the ball five times apiece, tallying 31, 11 and 21 yards in those games. The Packers placed Dillon on the reserve/COVID-19 list on November 2, 2020, where he missed five games.[16] He was activated from the list on December 10, 2020,[17] ahead of the Packers' Week 14 game versus the Lions, but Dillon did not record any stats in that game. He carried the ball once for 18 yards versus the Carolina Panthers in Week 15.

On December 27, 2020, Dillon scored his first two NFL touchdowns during a Week 16 game against the Tennessee Titans on Sunday Night Football, totaling 124 rushing yards on 21 carries during the 40–14 win.[18] During the Packers' divisional round matchup against the Los Angeles Rams, Dillon rushed 6 times for 27 yards as Green Bay won 32–18, and had a fumble recovered by quarterback Aaron Rodgers. The following week against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Dillon rushed 3 times for 17 yards, and added one catch for 13 yards, as the Packers lost 31–26.

In total, Dillon had 46 carries for 242 yards (an average of 5.3 yards per carry) and 2 touchdowns during his rookie season.

2021[edit]

After teammate Jamaal Williams left in free agency, Dillon was named the second-string running back to begin the season. Dillon had a slow start to the season, averaging just 5 carries a game through the first 3 weeks of the season. He saw his first significant action in a Week 4 victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers, tallying 15 carries for 81 yards, and catching one pass for 16 yards, as the Packers won 27–17. The following week versus the Cincinnati Bengals, Dillon saw 30 rushing yards on 8 carries, and added 4 catches for 49 yards and a touchdown. The Packers won 25–22 in overtime.

Dillon tied a career-high 21 carries for 66 yards and 2 rushing touchdowns in a Week 10 victory over the Seattle Seahawks. In that same game, teammate Aaron Jones went down with an MCL injury. Dillon started the Packers' Week 11 game against the Minnesota Vikings, notching 11 carries for 53 yards, and adding 6 catches for 44 yards, as the Packers lost 34–31. Dillon carried the ball 20 times for 69 yards against the Los Angeles Rams the following week, and caught 5 passes for 21 yards, as the Packers won 36–28. He recorded a 2 touchdown performance for the third time in his career in a 37–10 Week 16 victory over the Vikings, carrying the ball 14 times for 63 yards and adding 2 catches for 20 yards.

NFL career statistics[edit]

Regular season[edit]

Year Team Games Rushing Receiving Fumbles
GP GS Att Yds Avg Lng TD Rec Yds Avg Lng TD Fum Lost
2020 GB 11 0 46 242 5.3 30 2 2 21 10.5 16 0 0 0
2021 GB 17 2 187 803 4.3 36 5 34 313 9.2 50 2 2 1
Total 28 2 233 1045 4.5 36 7 36 334 9.3 50 2 2 1
Source: NFL.com

Postseason[edit]

Year Team Games Rushing Receiving Fumbles
GP GS Att Yds Avg Lng TD Rec Yds Avg Lng TD Fum Lost
2020 GB 2 0 9 44 4.9 9 0 1 13 13.0 13 0 1 0
2021 GB 1 0 7 25 3.6 6 1 0 0 0.0 0 0 0 0
Total 3 0 16 69 4.3 9 1 1 13 13.0 13 0 1 0
Source: pro-football-reference.com

Personal life[edit]

His grandfather, Tom Gatewood, was an All-American college football player at the University of Notre Dame and the captain of the 1972 team as well as a member of the College Football Hall of Fame.[19]

Since December 2021, Dillon hosts the "Toonen to Dillion" podcast with Will Toonen.[20]

Dillon is an avid promoter of Door County, Wisconsin, having first visited there after he started playing in Green Bay. In November 2021 he was given the key to Door County by Destination Door County, being the only person to receive the honor.[21][22]

References[edit]

  1. ^ McGuirk, John (October 21, 2015). "Lawrence Academy's AJ Dillon a special talent". ESPN. Retrieved September 4, 2019.
  2. ^ "AJ Dillon, Lawrence Academy , Running Back". 247Sports. Retrieved October 20, 2020.
  3. ^ Wenzel, Matt (November 30, 2016). "Michigan RB commit A.J. Dillon recovering from broken leg, focused on making instant impact". MLive.com. Retrieved September 4, 2019.
  4. ^ Black, A. J. (December 14, 2016). "Breaking News: 4* RB AJ Dillon Flips Commitment From Michigan To Boston College". BC Interruption. Retrieved December 10, 2019.
  5. ^ Snyder, Mark (December 14, 2016). "Michigan loses RB commit A.J. Dillon to Boston College". Detroit Free Press. Retrieved September 4, 2019.
  6. ^ Hostutler, Mark (December 27, 2017). "Boston College's AJ Dillon impresses in Pinstripe Bowl despite running 'kind of like on ice'". The Gazette. Retrieved September 4, 2019.
  7. ^ Conner, Desmond (December 1, 2017). "New London's Dillon First BC Freshman To Be Named ACC Rookie of the Year". Hartford Courant. Tribune Publishing. Retrieved September 4, 2019.
  8. ^ Black, A. J. (October 26, 2019). "AJ Dillon Breaks BC All Time Rushing Record And Ties TD Record". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved December 10, 2019.
  9. ^ "BC's AJ Dillon to skip senior season, declares for NFL draft". Yahoo! Sports. December 10, 2019. Retrieved December 10, 2019.
  10. ^ "AJ Dillon College Stats". College Football at Sports-Reference.com. Retrieved December 10, 2019.
  11. ^ "AJ Dillon Combine Profile". National Football League. Retrieved April 8, 2020.
  12. ^ "2020 NFL Draft: Packers select Boston College RB AJ Dillon in second round, No. 62 overall". packers. April 24, 2020. Retrieved April 24, 2020.
  13. ^ "Packers sign QB Jordan Love, RB AJ Dillon". packers.com. July 1, 2020. Retrieved July 1, 2020.
  14. ^ "Second-round pick A.J. Dillon signs rookie contract with Packers". July 2020.
  15. ^ "Green Bay Packers at Minnesota Vikings – September 13th, 2020". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved September 18, 2020.
  16. ^ "Packers place RB AJ Dillon on reserve/COVID-19 list". Packers.com. November 2, 2020. Retrieved November 2, 2020.
  17. ^ "Packers activate RB AJ Dillon from the reserve/COVID-19 list". Packers.com. December 10, 2020. Retrieved December 10, 2020.
  18. ^ Hodkiewicz, Wes (December 27, 2020). "Adversity behind him, AJ Dillon makes statement performance in the snow". Packers.com. Retrieved December 28, 2020.
  19. ^ Benbow, Julian (September 15, 2017). "With Notre Dame in his blood, A.J. Dillon takes family values to BC". Boston Globe. Retrieved September 4, 2019.
  20. ^ "Toonen to Dillon". toonentodillon.com. Retrieved January 20, 2022.
  21. ^ "Packers RB AJ Dillon receives key to Door County". wbay.com. Retrieved April 10, 2022.
  22. ^ LinkedUpRadio, Envisionwise Website Service /. "A.J. Dillon presented "key" to Door County". Door County Daily News. Retrieved April 10, 2022.

External links[edit]