Surprisingly resigning with the Packers to a four-year deal (really a two-year deal) in the offseason. Keeping Jones allows LaFleur to continue to run his offense at a high level. We all know the talent and skills Jones brings to the team. After Rodgers, he is probably the second most important player to the running of the offense.
His rushing touchdowns dropped from 16 to nine in 2020. I would expect to see his rushing touchdown numbers stay around the same. His rushing yards may take a small hit but his receiving numbers might go up some more; because of…
Quadzilla!, the Quadfather!, the Chosen Quads! AJ will be the #2 back in 2021 after being #3 last year behind Jamaal Williams. He did miss some time last season with COVID only playing in 11 games. In those 11 games, he only had 46 carries. 21 of those carries-almost half- were in the game against the Titans.
Expect his numbers to triple this year. Jamaal had 119 carries last season. I expect Dillon to have a similar amount. His playing time will be dependent on his development in the passing game. Both as a blocker and a route runner/receiver. Expect him to play a lot in goal-line and short-yardage situations. Also, expect some pony packages with him and Jones.
Taylor, the 6’2 undrafted back out of Memphis, missed all of his rookie year rehabbing a foot injury six games into his senior year. He actually started over Kenneth Gainwell in 2018 and rushed for 1,122 yards and 16 touchdowns. If not for the foot injury, he would have been drafted.
He is not elite at anything, but a solid all-around back who can do everything. If he is back to 100% and shows some improvements in pass pro, he will have a real shot at making the roster as the #3 back. They could even keep him as a #4 back since the Packers don’t really use a fullback, and Aaron Jones does have an injury history.
The former sixth-round pick from Notre Dame seemed like a perfect fit for LaFleur’s offense when he was drafted in 2019. He was very much a one-cut runner with decent speed. It seems like the NFL game moves too fast for him. He seems to rush things and ends up making mistakes. He has the talent and athleticism to be an NFL back.
He is probably the #6 back right now. I would say he has the least odds to make the roster, if things do slow down for him, though, then he has a shot to make the roster. It’s now or never for him.
Hill is probably the odds on favorite to make it as the third back. While he lasted until the 7th round, his talent is that of an early day three player. It is not 100% known why he slipped so far. The theory is his issues with Leach at Mississippi State and the offense he ran; also, him opting out after three games might have set wrong with some GM’s worrying he might be a locker room problem. Thus, causing them to take some other backs ahead of him that maybe we’re not as good; causing his drop.
Hill compares very favorably to Jamaal Williams talent and skill-wise. He could even be a little better since he has a little lower body agility. With a little bit of development as a pass blocker and route runner, he could become a really good #2 back. It would be a bit of a surprise if he didn’t make it.
In conclusion, the running back room should be Jones, Dillon, and Hill with Taylor having an outside shot. The Packers are heading into training camp a little light at running back. Either they know who their top three will be, and they want Dillon and Hill to get as many snaps as possible to get them ready, or they might bring in another back before camp starts or right afterward.
If they do, look for them to bring Mike Webster back since he knows the system.