Packers.com is taking a look at the Packers’ roster, position by position, leading up to the 2021 NFL Draft. The series continues with the running backs.
GREEN BAY – A new era is about to get underway in the Packers’ backfield.
With Jamaal Williams hopping across Lake Michigan to join the Detroit Lions, Green Bay will now press forward with Pro Bowl running back Aaron Jones and 2020 second-round pick AJ Dillon as its one-two punch on the ground.
Jones has driven the backfield’s resurgence in Green Bay since the Packers drafted him in the fifth round back in 2017, racking up 4,421 total yards and 43 touchdowns in 54 regular-season games.
Jones and Pro Football Hall of Famer Jim Brown are the only two players in NFL history to post 3,000-plus rushing yards (3,364) and 35-plus rushing TDs (37) with an average of 5.00-plus yards per carry (5.17) in their first four seasons in the NFL.
What’s more, Jones has become a certified threat in the passing game. His 96 catches over the past two seasons are second on the team to only All-Pro receiver Davante Adams.
Yet, the 26-year-old running back has continued to increase his ground production, culminating in a career-high 1,104 rushing yards this past season that helped catapult the Packers into the top 10 in rushing offense for the first time since 2013.
Headed to free agency for the first time in his young career, Jones was widely viewed as the top rusher on the market. Yet, he chose to re-sign with the Packers just days before the start of free agency because of what he called “unfinished business” in Green Bay.
His new running mate comes in the form of the 6-foot, 247-pound Dillon. As important as the well-rounded Williams was to the Packers’ success the past four years, the bruising Dillon presents a powerful change of pace that Green Bay’s offense has lacked since Eddie Lacy was in his prime.
After returning from the COVID-19 reserve list in December, Dillon showed what he can do when he barreled through the Tennessee Titans’ defense during an impressive 124-yard, two-TD performance in Week 16.