Packers draft running back, tight end/back-type on 2nd day
The Green Bay Packers had two picks on the dance card for the NFL Draft Friday night, and the first one left fans wondering why.
The Packers took running back AJ Dillon of Boston College with the 62nd overall pick.
It's not a position where Green Bay has a need right now, but Aaron Jones and Jamaal Williams are both going to be free agents after this season.
Dillon was a workhorse for Boston College, hammering for over 4,300 yards and 38 touchdowns in three years. His 845 carries were the second-most among draft-eligible running backs behind Wisconsin's Jonathan Taylor, who went earlier in the second round to the Colts.
Dillon is a big back at nearly 250 pounds, but he ran 4-53 40 at the combine with a 41-inch vertical.
Packers head coach Matt LaFleur said at the combine he wanted another back. He got a big one.
Dillon said, "Growing up I have never tried to compare myself to anybody, but just in the thought process of like, I have always been a student of the game. I have tried to take bits and pieces from people's games. And out of recent running backs, Derrick Henry for sure, the comparables by the numbers definitely jump out. Guys like him and Leonard Fournette, who are bigger backs and can do it all, they can run, they can block, they can catch, and they do it all with aggression."
In the third round, with pick number 30, 94th overall, the Packers went for a tight end/back type.
Josiah Deguara from Cincinnati was not highly rated in any of the pre-draft projections but was productive for the Bearcats, especially the last two seasons with 77 catches, including 12 touchdowns.
He's not quite 6'2", hence the H-back description. The Packers like his versatility, feeling that they can line in up in a number of spots in the offense to be a matchup problem. Deguara is eager to prove them right, and feels he can make an impact as a rookie. “"I do, that's the guy I am. I hope I can come in and compete right away...just going to work as hard as I can to get on the field,” Deguara said late Friday night.
It's the second year in a row the Packers went with a tight end in the third round. Last year it was Jace Sternberger. Jermichael Finley and Richard Rodgers were also third-round picks.
Packers GM Brian Gutekunst said late Friday night that despite what critics and fans may think, he thinks these two picks can help in 2020. "Two really versatile pieces to our offense. Both picks we made today I really do believe are going to help us in the short term as weapons." As for criticism, “"I saw how people were all over Ted about the draft and free agency... it just matters to me the team we put out there."