22 Sep 2020

Home of the NFL Offseason

AJ Dillon Scouting Report

BIO:

Won ACC Rookie of the Year and Freshman All-American honors by ranking seventh in the FBS with 1,589 yards (300 carries, 5.3 ypc) and scoring 14 touchdowns in 13 games (four starts). He started 10 games in 2018, earning first-team all-conference accolades (227 carries, 1,108 yards, 4.9 ypc, 10 touchdowns; eight receptions, 41 yards, 5.1 average) and cutting his fumbles from four to one. Dillon was the team’s bell-cow again as a junior, finishing among the national leaders in carries (318), yards (1,685), and 14 touchdowns in 12 starts (13 receptions, 195 yards, 15.0 average, one touchdown). Chose not to compete in the team’s bowl game to get ready for the Combine.

COMBINE/PRO DAY:

6’ 247lbs

Arm: 31 5/8”

Hands: 9 5/8”

40: 4.53

Bench: 23

Vertical: 41” (RB top performer)

Broad: 131” (RB top performer)

3 Cone: 7.19

PROS:

Great build with thick lower body; does a good job the way he carries that big frame and doesn’t carry any bad weight. 1 cut back with good vision through the LOS, commits to his lane and uses good short area burst to get through to the 2nd level with good, natural, low pad level. Good lateral quickness to make LB’s miss in tight spaces; sinks his hips and makes defenders miss but keeps his feet under him with his pads going north and south. Good mental processing on situational downs; always seems to be aware of where the sticks are, and displays good competitive toughness to grind out those yards and not try to dance around defenders to get the 1st. Good hands; possesses better hands than he’s given credit for and provides good versatility and good route running in that matter.

CONS:

Would love to see better use of a stiff-arm on smaller defenders. He had a fumbling problem in HS, and possibly whatever he fixed caused him to be overly cautious with ball security. Adequate vision on outside sweeps and tosses; wasn’t asked to do much of that at BC and thrives between the Tackles. Adequate blocking in 1-on-1’s; often times seems to wait on defenders coming through the LOS and allows them to initiate the contact. Needs to do a better job initiating contact when he’s carrying the ball; too many times there are plays when he’s absorbing hits rather than initiating contact.

PROJECTIONS:

Giants fans, or anyone who followed this guy, will see Dillon, the school he came from and might think of Andre Williams. Williams took a beating at BC, and Dillon had more carries than Derrick Henry, in 4 fewer games! That’s a real beating on that body. Nonetheless, we’re not looking at someone that potentially gives you 25 carries every Sunday, and it looks as if there are some self-preservation runs when I watch film of games late in the season. At times, he can look like Leonard Fournette. Others, he looks like a back that’s on every team in the league. What I like a lot about Dillon is the fact he led the group at the combine in what I believe to be the best indicators of true explosiveness- the vertical and broad jump. If you look back throughout the years, you’ll notice some of the better backs have led their positions in 1 or both of those stats. Guys such as Marlon Mack, Kamara, Kerryon Johnson, Saquon, Aaron Jones, CMC etc. were all individuals who were at or near the top of the list in those 2 measurements. Dillon reminds me of Latavius Murray; a bigger back with good power, maybe gets caught up in trying to dance too much, better speed than you think, and better hands than people think. I think he’s a good change-of-pace back for an offense that likes to throw it, and I believe he provides good depth as a backup sort of like Murray to Kamara.  

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