After a 13-3 season and NFC Championship appearance last season, the Packers had a few holes to fill coming into the season. After selecting QB Jordan Love from Utah in the first round as possible replacement a few years down the road for 36-year old Aaron Rodgers, the Packers added two more skill position players in A.J. Dillon and Josiah Deguara in the next two rounds.
Let’s take a closer look at Dillon and Deguara.
RB A.J. Dillon, Boston College
The Packers had interest in Dillon ever since he was a freshman. The powerfully built Dillon at nearly 250 pounds was a workhorse, carrying the ball 845 times in three collegiate seasons. He tallied 1589 yards and 14 touchdowns on the ground as a freshman, earning ACC Rookie of the Year and Freshman All-American.
Despite playing in only ten games as a sophomore, Dillon rushed for 1108 yards and ten touchdowns, earning first-team All-ACC honors. He capped off a brilliant collegiate career with 1685 yards on the ground and 14 touchdowns last season. Dillion was once again first team all-conference and third team AP All-American.
Dillon has impressive 4.53 speed for a man his size and possesses a 41-inch vertical leap. He can obviously handle a heavy workload and can wear defenses down late in game. Dillon has a knack for bursting through the hole with raw physical power. At the moment, he could be a short-yardage specialist while Aaron Jones and Jamaal Williams play out their rookie contracts. Dillon has starting running back potential moving forward.
TE Josiah Deguara, Cincinnati
With Jimmy Graham now in Chicago, the Packers were in need of a tight end to add to projected starter Jace Sternberger and veteran Mercedes Lewis. A three-sport athlete in high school, Deguara was a redshirt at Cincinnati his freshman year. He didn’t see much action the following two seasons with the exception of special teams play. Deguara came into his own in 2018, hauling in 38 passes before catching 39 for 504 yards and seven touchdowns as a senior. His efforts last season earned him first-team all-conference honors.
Although listed as a tight-end, Deguara could see significant time with the Packers as an H-back, going along with A.J. Dillon to boost an already very solid rushing attack. As a receiver, Deguara is able to find open spots in zone coverage and has good hands. One thing Deguara doesn’t have is breakaway speed, so the Packers can’t expect big plays down the field. However, he can become a capable receiver to pick up a big first down.
Deguara is quite versatile and considering his experience on special teams in college, that will carry over into the NFL. In fact, he could see more playing time on special teams than in the offense, at least during his rookie season. When seeing time on offense, expect dedicated run blocking, primarily in short yardage situations.