2020 NFL Draft Scouting Report: A.J. Dillon

  • A.J. Dillon, 6-0/247

  • Running Back

  • Boston College

  • A.J. Dillon Scouting Report
    By Charlie Campbell

  • Big-bodied back
  • Faster than expected
  • Quality vision
  • Patient
  • Short-yardage and goal-line back
  • Can pick up yards after contact
  • Upper body strength
  • Thick build
  • Strength to run through arm tackles
  • One-cut downhill runner
  • Good contact balance

  • Weaknesses:
  • Runs too high
  • Should improve knee bend
  • Straight line
  • Not elusive
  • Not the bruiser that his size would suggest

  • Summary: Over the past three seasons, Dillon was among the most productive running backs in the nation, continually rolling over the competition. He had a superb debut as a freshman, averaging 5.3 yards per carry for 1,589 yards with 14 touchdowns, but made no receptions that season. In 2018, Dillon averaged 4.9 yards per carry for 1,108 yards with 10 touchdowns. He totaled eight receptions for 41 yards and a score on the year.

    Dillon averaged 5.3 yards per carry in 2019 for 1,685 yards with 14 touchdowns. The junior also had 13 catches for 195 yards and a touchdown. Dillon then really helped himself at the combine with an excellent 40-yard dash time for a back as large as him.

    For the NFL, Dillon is a big-bodied back who is a one-cut downhill runner. He is faster than expected for a big back, possessing a burst to accelerate to the second level and get into the secondary. Dillon has the upper body strength to fight off tacklers and pick up yards after contact, but he is not the overpowering bruiser who one would expect for such a large back. Still, his big body and upper body strength should allow him to contribute in short-yardage and goal-line situations.

    Dillon is taller and thicker, so he runs too high at times. If he can improve his knee bend, that would make him tougher to tackle by sinking his pads lower to charge through defenders. With his big frame, Dillon is not an elusive runner to juke defenders via moves in the open field. He is more of a one-cut downhill straight-line runner.

    In the passing game, Dillon can do more than was seen at Boston College, but he is not a real weapon in the passing game for the next level. He could contribute on check downs and running down hill after making the catch. Dillon also has the potential to be a potent back on screens.

    Dillon would be best utilized in NFL as part of a running back-by-committee approach. He would work well as a big-back chang-of-pace to go with a feature speed back like an Alvin Kamara or Christian McCaffrey. In the 2020 NFL Draft, Dillon looks like mid-rounder who could go as high as the third round and probably won't go any lower than the fifth round.

    Player Comparison: T.J. Duckett. Team sources said Dillon reminds them of Duckett. Duckett (6-0, 261) and Dillon are almost identical in size and have similar running styles.



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