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Dont Stop Billeiving

Could AJ Dillon be a younger/cheaper Derrick Henry?

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First off, I think we can all agree that we need a better #2 RB in 2020 to complement Devin Singletary. With all respect to the legend that is Frank Gore, he wore down as the season went on and the coaching staff never seemed to trust Yeldon. Christian Wade remains the wildest of wildcards, but it's very unlikely he could fill this role next year or at least it would be foolish to make that assumption.

 

However, there are several directions in which the team could go to fill this #2 RB spot. I've seen some posters asking McBeane to go big in free agency and sign Derrick Henry who is undoubtedly an excellent player. However, it's been my belief (and I think the past decade or so in the NFL has proven this) that it's unwise to invest huge contracts or high draft picks at the RB position. As I've researched the 2020 draft, I've been targeting names like Zack Moss, LaMichel Perine, and Clyde Edwards-Helaire (probably in that order) as perfect fits for the Bills falling somewhere in the 3rd-4th Rounds. 

 

But could there be a potential compromise between these two scenarios (top free agent vs draft)? Is it at least possible for the Bills find a way to get a player like Derrick Henry without sacrificing a huge level or resources? To my knowledge, there is one similarly-sized RB with the stats to match who could be the perfect Thunder to Singletary's slightly slow Lightening for the cost of a 4th-6th Round draft pick. The draft is basically a lottery, but it seems like AJ Dillon could have a chance to make a Henry-like impact at the next level.

 

Dillon is 3 inches shorter than Henry, but outweighs him by 11 POUNDS. Think about that and then watch the highlights below...it's exactly what you'd expect. Nobody wants to tackle this guy. He's not going to be a 4.4 burner, but he has enough speed and enough shiftiness to make guys miss or run over them if they don't. Boston College was not an offensive juggernaut by any means during his time there and defenses were putting 8 guys in the box/keying in on stopping Dillon every week. Despite this, he put up 4,618 rushing/receiving yards and 40 TDs in 3 seasons. From day one, his physicality, pass blocking, and efficiency in short-yardage situations could help this team. All from a player who is 5 years younger than Derrick Henry and will take up about 1/25th of the cap space. 

 

It's not guaranteed he'll be a star or become a Derrick Henry, but I think this guy gives us a chance to zag (have a huge RB) when the rest of the league is zigging (defenses getting smaller and more spread out). I want to see the Bills pass more in general, but Dillon would give us the #2 back we desperately need and it would be well worth a 5th rounder to find out. Go Bills!

 

 

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yeah so I don't know anything about this guy other than the highlight reel you posted, but one thing that jumps out at me and I absolutely love is that he does the minimum move possible to ruin the balance of the defender, then runs right through them, no cute stuff, no dancing, no losing yards a la shady.  That's almost a martial arts type of skillset, and at 240lbs could be a real wrecking ball.  I'd absolutely go after him.  Heck, he could replace Gore and Dimarco

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Love the idea. He ran a 4.56 40 coming out of high school at a Nike. That's a full .1 second faster than Motor. Very impressive

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No but at end of day doesn't matter, NEVER PAY BIG money to a RB you will not get value

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He was a great player on team with a terrible passing game.  I do worry about college guys who get a lot of carries though.  But he certainly would be interesting in the mid rounds. 

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Just now, wppete said:

What round is he projected to go in? 

I have him graded as a 5th or 6th rounder 

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Maybe, but I’d really like a speed back. My current favorite is Javon Leake

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3 minutes ago, MAJBobby said:

I have him graded as a 5th or 6th rounder 

 

If we can get him for a 6th then 100% yes draft him even if we get a Zach Moss in the 3rd. Having a stable of Young and Cheap RBs is the way to go. Would love to see a RB room with:

 

RB1 - Devin Singletary

RB2 - Zach Moss (Utah)

RB3 - AJ Dillon (Boston College)

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impressive clips and yes this makes more financial sense than a high priced high mileage veteran

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Depends on quite a bit, including how our first couple rounds go, but I like Dillon as a late round option if Moss doesn't last until the 3/4/5 round picks.

 

Had to look at more of his game footage since his highlight reel above didn't have a tremendous amount of between tackle running, since that would primarily be the role he'd be asked to fill in this offense as far as we've seen with Gore. Boundary running isn't a bad thing, since he performed well against ACC in both regards, but he will find most of his calls at the next level b/t the Tackles.

 

Some criticism he's garnered so far is similar to the current/pre-draft criticisms of Henry - that he "takes a second to get the momentum going," and is susceptible to going down if hit early and defenses rally. It's what made Henry disappear for a chunk of his season two years ago, and until the Titans started putting together better PA schemes with Tannehill and a healthier OL, it was also an issue for them this past year. Where Dillon would immediately succeed is against secondary tackling and offset LBs, but he needs momentum moving before he can power through any tackler. It'll be interesting to see how this translates to the next level, especially in a tandem role. My own counter of this criticism is that Henry's center of mass is also higher than Dillon's, it would appear, which bodes better for power running and shedding tackles from front 7 defenders - Dillon's mass concentrates in mid/lower body which is ideal for any power runner and an absolute b**** to tackle. Add that with him being utilized in a tandem role with Singletary, and you remove the one dimensional running scheme that Henry plays in as RB1 that defenses can acclimatize to over the course of a game.

 

16 minutes ago, wppete said:

What round is he projected to go in? 

He's been widely projected in the 5th/6th which is where I'd love to get him at value if possible - I've seen him as high as 4th with obvious caveat being his stock could rise b/t now and the draft. Though I don't anticipate going higher than three at most with the power RBs currently in his class with Taylor/Moss/Perine and other class favorites in Akers/Dobbins.

Edited by ctk232
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13 minutes ago, thebandit27 said:

Maybe, but I’d really like a speed back. My current favorite is Javon Leake

I’m more in favor of a speed back as well. I know that I sound like a broken record but we need more chunk plays.

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walterfootball:

 

BostonCollege_logo.gif A.J. Dillon, RB/FB, Boston College
Height: 6-0. Weight: 245.
Projected 40 Time: 4.59.
Projected Round (2020): 3-5.

2/1/20: Dillon averaged 5.3 yards per carry in 2019 for 1,685 yards with 14 touchdowns. He also made 13 catches for 195 yards and a touchdown. Dillon is a potential rotational power back for the NFL.

 

sounds good in those rounds

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3 minutes ago, Kirby Jackson said:

I’m more in favor of a speed back as well. I know that I sound like a broken record but we need more chunk plays.

 

 

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My big question is this...

 

Can he catch?

 

I watched BC twice this year and can’t recall Dillon catching a pass. Gore being used solely for runs between the tackles was likely a big tell for defenses. This team has to move on from that. It’s one reason why I see Perine and Moss as more likely to be targeted. 

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24 minutes ago, Kirby Jackson said:

I’m more in favor of a speed back as well. I know that I sound like a broken record but we need more chunk plays.

I agree, that's why been calling for Salvon Ahmed for months. 

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I had the opportunity to watch Dillon throughout his college career and I'm a huge fan of his so take my comments with a grain of salt.  His biggest problem was playing for one of the dumbest head coaches in college football that mismanaged his carries to an enormous detriment of his career.  He was asked to repeatedly run his head into a brick wall when everyone in the stadium new exactly what the play call would be.  Unfortunately he dealt with injuries two years ago (but still produced) and last year had a diminished offensive line.  BC lost their starting quarterback to knee injury at the beginning of last season and the passing game never developed.  To say that he didn't catch passes in college was not necessarily AJ's fault.  The guy is a beast.  I think he'd be a great late round pickup, but like I said, I'm biased.  

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