Matt LaFleur’s praise of AJ Dillon should excite Packers fans

AJ Dillon is already turning heads at Packers camp, and head coach Matt LaFleur’s assessment especially stands out .

The Green Bay Packers went against the expected grain during the 2020 NFL Draft, trading up to take a quarterback in the first round and following that by taking running back AJ Dillon in the second round. With Aaron Jones entering a contract year, Dillon could be Green Bay’s No. 1 back in 2021.

After drafting Dillon, general manager Brian Gutekunst made reference to Eddie Lacy as a big back the Packers have had in a prominent role. Dillon was listed at 6-foot and 247 pounds during the pre-draft process.

Speaking to reporters on Saturday, via Rob Demovsky of ESPN, Packers head coach Matt LaFleur offered an interesting appraisal of Dillon’s physical build.

“He has got some massive legs,” Packers head coach Matt LaFleur said, via Rob Demovsky of ESPN. “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.”

Matt LaFleur’s praise of AJ Dillon stretches past hyperbole

Prior to becoming Packers head coach LaFleur was offensive coordinator for the Tennessee Titans (2018) and Los Angeles Rams (2017). The Rams’ lead back back then, Todd Gurley, is no slouch physically (6-1, 224 pounds). But Titans’ running back Derrick Henry, the league’s reigning leading rusher, is listed at 6-3 and 247 pounds and looks every part of it. So LaFleur saying he has not seen back built quite like Dillon holds some extra water.

Dillon rushed for 1,685 yards and 14 touchdowns last year at Boston College. In 35 games over his three seasons there, he had 38 rushing touchdowns and 40 total scores. In two of those three campaigns, he had more than 300 carries and over 1,500 yards on the ground. If he had played more than 10 games in 2018, he surely would have made a push toward both marks (227 carries for 1,108 yards).

Time will tell if Dillon turns heads in games the way he has just by standing on the sideline early in Packers camp. But Packers fans should be excited right now, with LaFleur’s bit of coach-speak that also has a hint of interesting credibility.

Next: 5 best bets to be NFC WiIld Card teams in 2020

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