After his third season starting at tailback for Boston College, AJ Dillon has decided to forego his final year of collegiate eligibility in favor of the 2020 NFL Draft.
Despite a lack of significant team success, Dillon was a constant bright spot for the Eagles, averaging 5.2 YPC over the course of his career. While injuries forced him to miss three games during his sophomore year, he still able to racked up 1100 rush yards and earned his second consecutive All-ACC first-team selection.
He is likely to be named to an All-ACC team again this year after amassing 1685 rushing yards and 14 rushing touchdowns.
Dillon will leave the Heights as BC’s career leader in rushing yards (4382) and touchdowns (38). The next closest rusher is Heisman-finalist Andre Williams, with 3739 yards.
Dillon will sit out the TicketSmarter Birmingham Bowl on January 2 in order to preserve his draft stock. This trend has become increasingly common since Christian McCaffrey’s decision to do so in 2016, and was aided further by Leonard Fournette’s injury in LSU’s blowout win over Louisville in the Citrus Bowl that same year.
Assuming good health going into the combine, Dillon is projected by many to go somewhere between the 3rd and fifth round. With an extremely deep class of running backs in the 2020 NFL draft, headlined by Jonathan Taylor, D’Andre Swift, and Travis Etienne, it’s difficult to see Dillon going in the first two rounds of the draft. Still, his ceiling is extremely high, so it is possible that a team would be willing to take a chance on him early.
Going forward, Dillon will be replaced in the backfield by David Bailey, who rushed for 811 yards and seven touchdowns on 5.8 yards per carry this past season.