AJ Dillon, Boston College, RB
AJ Dillon is a big power back and his measurables and statistics back that up. At 6’0” 250 lbs., Dillon used that size in college to rack up a nice stat line on the ground. In his time at Boston College, Dillon rushed 845 times for 4,382 yards and 38 touchdowns. The downside for him is that he was not used much at all in the passing game, catching 21 passes for 236 yards and 2 touchdowns.
Athletic Ability: 5.1/10
Dillon won’t wow you with his athletic ability but we were impressed with how he uses his size and power and that translates well to the NFL game. Many of the evaluators at Rotoheat used comps like Marshawn Lynch, Leonard Fournette or Legarrette Blount with regards to how he uses his power to get yards. The downfall for fantasy purposes is that, with all the contact Dillon takes, he will be the quintessential 3-4 year RB with regards to his fantasy relevance. Both Brad and Joseph see him running a 4.5/4.6 at the combine, which for his size isn’t bad but isn’t amazing either. Jason mentioned that the lack of burst will likely cap his ability at the next level.
By far his best ability, which we mentioned some in athletic ability is the fact that Dillon uses his size well and teams will target Dillon to be their big back. He doesn’t shy away from contact, and uses every bit of that 250 pounds to take on defenders and rack up the yardage. In the NFL, you could easily make the case that Dillon steps in as the goal line back from day 1.
Many of the team said Dillon will get what’s blocked for him, which takes away the big play ability and makes him more of a plodder. We also saw plenty of times where he would choose the wrong running lane, which could be concerning as he doesn’t have big play ability, so he will need to be better at taking what the offense line is blocking for him.
You’ll get rated this low when clearly the offense doesn’t design plays for you to get passes thrown your way, as he racked up just 21 catches in three seasons. The few passes he did get his way, I didn’t see him have trouble bringing them in, so there is potential to work with the jugs machine and develop this area in the NFL but most teams will aim for him to be their power back. This season we saw more from guys like Derrick Henry, whom were traditionally power backs but were utilized more in the passing game, so there is hope for Dillon to grow in this area.
Yards After Contact (YAC): 7/10
It’s interesting that the team graded Dillon the same as Swift, as Swift is a much more dynamic running back but here you see Dillon getting a good amount of YAC because of his power and willingness to take on defenders and run through them to get more yards after the initial contact.