A. J. Dillon & The Bucs

April 20th, 2020

A former Buccaneer who is deeply immersed in college football, as well as all things Bucs, was assigned to mentor and oversee college prospects at the NFL Scouting Combine this year.

That would be ex-AAF assistant coach and former Chucky-era tight end Anthony Becht, who is a regular college broadcast analyst for ESPN.

At the Combine, Becht was assigned to the 2020 tight ends class for the entire week, and Joe talked to Becht there. The NFL typically has highly respected ex-players work with a position group. It’s sort of like babysitting and mentoring all rolled into one. Joe hopes the prospects took advantage of a shoot to hit Becht with endless questions.

Becht joined The JP Show on 820 AM last week and was asked about running backs in the draft that would be a good fit for the Bucs.

Outside of a couple of bigger names, Becht said he likes Boston College bruiser A.J. Dillon as a mid-round choice.

Dillon’s big frame (6-0, 247) carried a heavy load for Boston College (845 carries) over the past three seasons. His resumé is all about production — 38 touchdowns in 35 games and a 5.2-yards-per-carry average.

“Maybe one of the more productive bigger guys that has a little speed to him that’s been ultra productive, not a lot of negative yards for him in his career even though everybody knew he was going to get the ball,” Becht said.

Becht sees Dillon as an excellent potential complement to Ronald Jones. “You do need a guy that can also get some tough yards for you, and has a little speed in second level to make a guy miss and is powerful.”

Certainly Dillon isn’t the Bucs’ top choice, but as Joe has written many times, draft fantasies don’t always come true.

Dillon doesn’t seem to be the pass catcher Bucco Bruce Arians wants, but maybe the Bucs end up with a guy like him and then sign a Devonta Freeman on the cheap.

68 Responses to “A. J. Dillon & The Bucs”

  1. Joeypoppems Says:

    I love the idea. This is the way they should go about building the RB room. Draft a guy to compliment Rojo, not replace him, and sign a vet cheap post draft.p

    BUT, Im not an AJ Dillon fan. He will be best utilized as a FB and this isnt the late 90s early 2000s.

    Love the idea, just not the player in this scenario.

  2. Bucsfanman Says:

    Watched a LOT of this guy as a Hokie fan. He is difficult to bring down and has surprising speed for his size. Short yardage? For-ged-abowtit!!!!
    Didn’t see him catch a ton of passes so I won’t compare him to Alstott, but….he is certainly in that same vain.

  3. Casual Observer Says:

    I think Dillon would be a good addition. And surely a good blocker for our new QB.

  4. Chris@Apple Roof Cleaning Tampa Says:

    If he can block, and we can get him later on, why not ?

  5. stpetebucsfan Says:

    I do not think his hands are suspect. They didn’t use him much in the passing game but last year he caught 13 passes for a 15 yard average per reception and one TD.

    If you watch video of him he doesn’t fight the ball like ROJO but has soft hands.

    His 4.5 speed is also deceptive. He doesn’t get hauled down from behind when he gets to the second level.

  6. TiredBucsFan Says:

    I like Dillon. I think he would be great with us.

  7. Swampbuc Says:

    Devonta Freeman is washed up. Might as well call up LeGarrette Blount out of semi-retirement.

  8. Jay Molina Says:

    While I know the Bucs are looking for a pass-catching RB, all they have to do is look back at Dunn/Alstott to see the advantage of having a quick hitter and a bruiser in the same backfield.

  9. AlabamaBucsFan Says:

    Use him like Alstott.

  10. Bucs Guy Says:

    If don’t get CEH and Bucs think it has higher needs, I could see him as a 3rd or 4th rd pick.

  11. Defense Rules Says:

    The are several RBs worthy of being a Rnd 2 pick. Since all we really have is RoJo right now, Bucs would be foolish to NOT grab a RB in Rnd 2, AFTER grabbing an OT in Rnd 1 to block for him (and for the GOAT).

    Makes sense to me to grab a DLineman in Rnd 3 since we still have to replace Allen & Nassib (and no, Nelson isn’t a 1-1 replacement for Nassib since Nelson was on the team last year … we still have TWO holes). Should be a number of decent candidates still on the board in Rnd 3.

    Having TWO Rnd 4 picks gives us a leg up over most other teams. This is supposedly a deep WR draft, and using 1 Rnd 4 pick for a #3 WR makes good sense. If we want AJ Dillon (and I do), the place to grab him is in Rnd 4 (if he gets picked before that, then hey, such is life; move on). That’d allow us to use our Rnd 5 & 6 picks for BPAs (there are always some players who fall but are worth the risk).

  12. Formerly Tampa 2 Says:

    Sounds a lot like another guy we drafted years ago that nobody thought would
    be all that. Not only was the guy “all that”, but Alstott was one helluva lot more. Nothing wrong with picking this guy in a later round.

  13. bogiedr Says:

    Alstott – Dunn part dos? I like it!

  14. Joeypoppems Says:

    Can you guys stop comparing him to Alstott just because he is a FB lol.

  15. Godlovesbucs Says:

    I like RB in the 3rd-4th as it will allow bigger needs in the 2nd. Should have one of either

    DT Madubuike
    DT Gallimore
    DT Blacklock

    All are in the 290-300 range and quick. Would be a great replacement for SUH. Could also see one of the top safeties still there in the 2nd. If Delpit lasts to the 2nd that would be great too. I just think the 2nd -3rd rounds are still ripe with starters at more important positions than rb.

  16. Will Says:

    I like a few other fans have been as Joe would say, “pounding the drum” for this guy. Wasn’t Arians still with Pittsburgh when they got Jerome “The Bus” Bettis? I’m not saying Dillon is the next Bettis but Arians used him pretty well. This would be a really good compliment to Rojo although I’m not on the Freeman bandwagon. I think Freeman is productive when healthy but hasn’t he had concussion issues? I agree we need a pass catcher out of the backfield that teams respect and I don’t think his name is Dare.

  17. Joe Says:

    Wasn’t Arians still with Pittsburgh when they got Jerome “The Bus” Bettis?

    Thinking Arians was in Cleveland at the time. During Arians’ early years in Pittsburgh when Bettis was there Arians was the wide receivers coach. He moved to offensive coordinator after Bettis retired.

    There are a cult of Steelers fans who hate Arians to this day because he refused to use a fullback and openly scoffed at fans who wanted him to start a fullback.

  18. Godlovesbucs Says:

    Anyone think maybe Brady makes the back??? He has used guys like Ridley, burkhead, Lewis, white, gillislee in the last few years. Before they drafted Sony Michele, all their guys were 3-5rd guys or even udfa. I still think another back needs to be added, but I am much less concerned about the position than the safety, dt, ot position.

  19. Joeypoppems Says:


    This, Joe!! People want Dillon to recreate Dunn/Alstott lol. We are in 2020 people!!

  20. Daniel Says:

    Season ticket holder to BC Football here.

    Dillon would be a good 4th quarter hammer, but he can’t catch and blitz pick-up is very suspect. He was fantastic in college, but I’m not sure it translates to a passing league.

  21. Will Says:

    Awesome thanks Joe I wasn’t sure about Arians and OC time table in Pittsburgh. I have heard about during The Superbowl Parade(I believe it was) fans yelling at him to get a fullback and him yelling back “Never”

    Some see Dillon as a fullback but I believe after the career Blunt had and after what Henry did in the playoffs teams will look for a RB of that caliber after all it is a copycat league. Maybe I’m old school and just believe in the “thunder and lightening” running back tandem add in there a gadget type RB and you’ve got all the ingredients for a great RB room. Although it would be nice to find all that in one back the way high-school and college football is now days I don’t think you’re going to get all that in 1 guy.

  22. Joe in Michigan Says:

    Can Dillon catch the ball effectively? If not, I’d rather have Antonio Gibson, not quite as big as Dillon, but is faster and a good receiver.

  23. BrianBucs Says:

    Would love to see the Bucs get a big guy that’s a banger

  24. 813bucboi Says:

    perine is a james white clone…he’d be a perfect fit….

    GO BUCS!!!!!

  25. ToesOnTheLine!!! Says:

    This guy could very well be the day 3 RB pick I think the Bucs might be targeting? The 49’ers showed that if you’re creative there can be a role for a FB in today’s NFL. I still think the Bucs bring in a (cap friendly 1-year deal) pass catching/blitz pickup RB vet, draft a ‘day 3’ RB on Saturday and/or sign some undrafted ones to push Dare. I think it plays out like that because I think BA is going to give RoJo his shot to be the guy.

  26. JimmyJack Says:

    Look guys. I know some of you love this prospect but I think the chances of him being a Buc are slim to nil. It’s not about how good you think he is it’s about how he fits into our system. Just read the dialogue above about fullbacks under Arians. He is not the type of back we are likely looking for.

    By the same token there might be some big bodied receiver you like. No matter how good you think he is he’s probably not on the Bucs radar. Bruce wants a receiver with blazing speed. That’s the fit.

    Very doubtful we are drafting this guy then changing our system to fit a fifth round RB. That sounds ridicilous. The RBs we are looking at are ones we think can join right in gel right into the system. Every RB we are looking at probably has the same thing in common…….They can all run routes and catch. So they probably aren’t even looking at Dillon, sorry.

  27. JimmyJack Says:

    ToeOnTheLine……..While I do agree with you that San Fran did proove that about fullbacks…….I really dont see how that will affect the Bucs. I mean we not expecting Bruce to totally rebuid his offense to match the 49ers are we?

    And it’s not like the 49ers prooved that’s the only offense that can win in this league. Passing offenses have been pretty successful too.

    I also don’t think Tom Brady came here to run a ground offense either. I think our Ariel attack is a big reason he is here.

  28. catcard202 Says:

    AJ Dillion tested out better at the NFL combine than Derrick Henry.
    Which means he is not a FB in the NFL….He’s a TB/RB. (4.52-40 / 41″ vert / 131″ broad @ 247lbs = EXPLOSIVE big back.)

    Just because they didn’t scheme more bubble screens & dump-off’s for AJD in BC’s offense, doesn’t mean he cannot be a good outlet for TB12.

  29. Jv Says:

    Reminds me of DeSean Jackson!!!

  30. Oneilbucs Says:

    A.J Dillon should be the pick . We need a runningback that can run the ball first . We have been looking for the catching runningback more than a guy who can run the ball . That has not been successful with for us at that position . When we had leads we couldn’t close out games because we couldn’t run the ball . And he needs to run at least 20 times a game . Draft Dillon please ….

  31. PSL Bob Says:

    Agree with Joeypoppems, love the idea, but unlikely this would float Arians’ boat. Nevertheless, the thought of a return to the proverbial thunder and lightning pairing, gets me excited.

  32. Bucsfanman Says:

    joey- You act like recreating “WD/40” is a bad thing. Also, in case you missed it, the running game is still alive and well. Embrace it!

    Nobody is saying he’s Alstott, just Alstott-like (size, speed, etc.).

  33. BUC CHEEKS Says:

    Yes please! But don’t stop there, grab one more RB that’s a pass catching, shifty lil mo fo that’s gonna break your ankles and take it to the house! Give me CEH in RD2 and Dillon in RD4. Pick up another pick or 2… somehow, deep draft DEEEEEEP DRAFT!!!!!!!!!

  34. Will Says:

    @joe in Michigan I’ve watched your guy as well he’s an interesting prospect as well.

  35. Buczilla Says:

    Sling those darts Licht! We need to get one of the top 5 running backs with our first or second round pick (preferably second, but the draft is a crapshoot) and then if this dude is there in the 4th or 5th get him too. Rojo has shown himself to be a top 15 third string back to this point and I don’t trust him yet. We need two bullies in the backfield that defenses are forced to take into account. Licht has nearly always half @ssed this position so we’ll see if he’s learned anything this week.

  36. Joeypoppems Says:


    Im not saying its a “bad” thing, its an unlikely thing. Let’s be honest, the only reason its being brought up is nostalgia for 20 years ago lol.

    And yes the running game is alive and well. 8 of the top 10 rushing teams (yds/g) made the playoffs last year. However, “thunder and lightning” is not. “Thunder” at the RB position is a dying breed.

    Derrick Henry is literally the only starting RB in the league that can be considered as “Thunder”. Maybe Fournette, but he kind of grew into a more complete player when he started to be utilized as a receiver.

    When your reasoning for wanting a player is “it worked 20 years ago” and “1 or 2 of 32 teams does it” maybe it isnt the best idea. All I’m saying.

  37. Joeypoppems Says:

    I also dont understand the “I dont trust Ronald Jones” crowd. Guy just had 1,000 yards from scrimmage in the NFL and is going into his 3rd NFL season while still being the same age as these rookie.

    And somehow people trust the unknown more than him. Just don’t understand it.

  38. SOEbuc Says:

    I’d be down for Dillon in the third if that’s the way they wanna go. Akers is officially my man. Just continue to put a line together and we could end up with two breakout RBs rotating fresh feet all day and good depth.

  39. Bradinator Says:

    Dillon in round 5 maybe. He’s a one dimensional guy like Blount (who I liked). He’s got a place in an offense…maybe not ours. Antonio Gibson in the 3rd or fourth for RB. Doesn’t stop us from taking Akers also.

  40. Craig Says:

    I would prefer him over Akers. The Bucs need a big back that can make holes bigger.

    Even with a run blocking RT, it will take a while for it to come together, a big bruising back would bridge that.

    I would also like to see Adrian Killins in camp. He might end up as an undrafted free agent, but he would be the speed threat. He also catches pretty well. half of his yards last season were receiving yards.

  41. Blind Melon Says:

    He’ll make it to the 4th or 5th. Would double dip with him and CEH in the 2nd.

  42. JimmyJack Says:

    I don’t know why y’all want 2 RBs…….This is supposed to be a deep WR draft. I’d rather use a extra pick there.

    We could use the depth at WR as well. Plus with RB you can usually find good ones sitting around in free agency during the season if you take an injury. Of course they usually only join on with playoff bound teams so we gotta be winning.

  43. JimmyJack Says:

    But we might be wisest to use the pick on defense. We should be fine at WR cause we have Spencer Schnell who Brady will turn into the next greatest thing.

  44. JimmyJack Says:

    Poppems I don’t trust RoJo because the team don’t trust RoJo. They couldn’t keep him on the field mainly cause he can’t block.

    Go back and look at Scotty Miller’s one TD this year. That TD doesn’t happen if RoJo is on the field……..Not to mention he is limited as a pass catcher which I will guess is something they are looking for from their prime RB.

    I just don’t see a complete back with RoJo. Want somebody who can bring more to the table.

  45. SOEbuc Says:

    Just a thought:
    1.Trade back in the first for Delpit
    2.Trade up for Isaiah Wilson and trade down again for Zack Moss in the second.. He’s a 5’10”, 222 lbs. banger with jets and good pass blocking. Sounds perfect for check down Brady.

  46. Afo Says:

    @Jimmy Stud RB like Taylor, Swift, Dobbins or CEH at 45 will do that, they’ll bring more to the team especially CEH

  47. Jeagan1999 Says:

    I been on the AJ Dillon bandwagon since last season. He is a big, bruising runner with surprising speed and shiftiness. I’ve seen some Alstott comparisons (and I loved the A-Train!), but to me the more apt comparison is Derrick Henry!

    I also agree with @Stpetebucsfan, his hands are soft and he definitely can catch, they (B.C.) just didn’t throw to him often.

    If we can’t get Dobbins…who I believe is the star runner of the Draft….I would be totally happy with Dillon in Rd 3 or 4.

  48. Ship Thief Says:

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but I think all we have is RoJo and Dare at the moment.
    That means we need 2 more backs.

    Round 1 OT
    Round 2 RB
    Round 3 S or Dline
    Round 4 Dline or S
    Round 4 AJ Dillon

  49. Tackleblockwin Says:

    I agree that Dillon does not fit the mold of a BA back. But I have always liked the idea of having a bruiser at RB for many situations such as: crappy weather games, playing with a big lead, short yardage, playoff football etc. Dillon is going to be a solid back in this league. Will be interesting to see where he goes.

  50. SOEbuc Says:

    RT, RB, OLB, and the trenches is what needs to be done Rounds 1-5 and I’m hoping we have multiple picks in those rounds. WR Devin Duverney (Texas) in the 6th round is the steal.

  51. Ship Thief Says:

    If the Tackle they hope to get is not there at 14, then we take the top RB on their board…
    Then in round 2 they target Ben Bartch.

  52. Jason Mclaurin Says:

    Look RoJo can do it all and the staff has good reason to believe in him as well. I think we honestly need this Dillon guy to complement him. He would be our true second string RB. Only reason I’m projecting us to get Ruggs and CEH is for special teams. We need 2 kickoff returner and a punt returner for sure. We have the blocking for kickoff return and gunners for punts but no punt returner. Ruggs and CEH in the first two rounds and Dillon in the third. A guard and the DT prospect from Utah in the fourth and a CB and Safety in the fifth and sixth rounds to complete the draft.

  53. Rod Munch Says:

    I watched his highlights, then watched more film, then read scouting reports and I have no idea why anyone is excited about this guy. He looks like a 5th round pick, and from multiple projections he’s going as a comp 4th rounder or a 5th rounder (same thing). Maybe he goes a bit earlier in the 4th, but I still have no idea why people think this guy is special. He has zero wiggle, his power is good, but not exceptional and he’s never caught the ball much. He is NOT Mike Alstott, not even in the same league, not even remotely close. Plus his pass blocking isn’t even anything special, and for his size that’s an area where he should produce. His straight line speed is good for his size, but again, he has no agility, he’s not making guys miss – and outside of like one highlight where he bowls over a 150lb corner, he’s not trucking LB’s or even safeties.

    To me he looks like a guy that will have to make a team based on his special teams play and might come in at the goal line to rush for 2.5 yards.

    If I’m wrong, then I’m wrong, but I see nothing in this guy. He looks like an workhorse college player who doesn’t have NFL skills.

  54. BUC CHEEKS Says:

    What’s not to get excited about ROD MUNCH?!

    This is no good?!!! I’d love to watch this on Sundays!!!


  55. Ship Thief Says:

    I do really think RoJo is going to keep improving, but with the way TB12 uses RBs, we NEED 2 more guys.
    And we do NOT HAVE a RT on the roster right now.
    I would love to see Ruggs on the Bucs but I just don’t see it happening.

  56. Ship Thief Says:


    That’s the order of importance as I see it.

    I expect that one or two of those positions will be filled by short term veterans, but I don’t think that is how they will build the OLine.

    RB group will see 2 new guys for sure, either by draft or other means.
    I’m sure at least 1 pick will go to a RB.

  57. BUC CHEEKS Says:

    Go type in AJ Dillon highlights and watch the one that says DEMON scariest running back in college. The kid has juice! I posted the link put it got deleted I guess.

  58. catcard202 Says:

    Dillion will be a steal if he gets to the 4th.

  59. BringBucsBack Says:

    I’m very cool with A.J. Dillon! Like Alstott, AJ is a RB far more than a fullback.

  60. Joeypoppems Says:


    You can watch any players highlights and think they are the best at their position. Thats what highlights are for lol.

  61. The southest Buc Says:

    Get one of the best 5 backs in the second round and then scoop Dillon with the late 4th or the 5th. Could be FB and gain the hard yard.

  62. Owlykat Says:

    Go back and look at the playoff games that the Patriots played on the way to winning the Super Bowl. They used a big fullback along with a running back and ran the ball right down the throats of the competition. Ask Brady how he feels about having a full back. He is not able to take a pounding like Jameis did and it will hurt Brady’s performance! BA has told Brady he will change his Offense to accommodate Brady so BA needs to rethink not using a FB/RB and take Dillon. The Titans proved the need in the playoffs for a big bruising back! The Bucs have had big trouble picking up short yardage. Dillon is the answer!!!

  63. Owlykat Says:

    Here is the best mock to meet our needs this year:
    1. Top four OTs or Jones
    2. A.J. Dillon, FB
    3. Pittman, WR
    4. Stanley or Morgan, QB
    4. Hamilton, Backup N/T
    5. Perine, RB
    6. Gibson, WR/RB

    This is the best draft for our needs. Dillon will protect Brady and be the best third down RB and short yardage getter. Perine is as tough an inside runner as we need to grind out yardage and relieve Jones but also is an excellent pass catcher and can be split out as a receiver. Becton or Jones will be great at RT this year and LT next year. Gibson can be an excellent backup WR to Pittman and also backup Perine as a RB if needed. Our running game will be excellent then to complement Brady. We have to have a backup NT and Hamilton is the answer there.
    Our Future QB learning from Brady will be Stanley or Morgan. Pittman is the son of our RB who starred in our Super Bowl win and can start as our third down WR with no problem. We can pickup a veteran Safety in free agency if BA needs one but recognize that Andrew Adams is a former Veteran Safety so we shouldn’t need one more on our roster and Adams is an excellent interceptor as well, getting three in his first year with the Bucs in just one ball game.

  64. The southest Buc Says:

    Dillon in the second is a high reach bro… WR in the third? It’s a luxury. We have others hole like the S or some depth behind Suh and JPP that we need to find… I think Dillon will be in our fourth round to be picked. I like the idea of getting 2 RBs. One in the second and one in the third day, where there are plenty of Rbacks to complement

  65. adam from ny Says:

    grab this guy if the pick more or less falls into place…

    if he’s there it’s a no brainer when ready to pull the trigger…

    no real big trade ups tho to snag him

  66. adam from ny Says:

    dillon is more of a blount than an alstott

  67. adam from ny Says:

    they might let brady make the call on dillon…

    being the fact that he’s out of boston college, brady should be fairly familiar with the young man…

    and should be able to foresee running an offense with him in it or not

  68. DavidBigBucsFan99 Says:

    In real estate they say LOCATION LOCATION LOCATION! In football they say PRODUCTION PRODUCTION PRODUCTION! This dude has that and then some. A late round pick looks good to me. Good vision, speed, shakes and moves plus looks like his hands won’t be a problem.