Aaron Jones has become one of the Green Bay Packers‘ biggest offensive weapons. He’s blossomed into one of the league’s top runners and he’s valuable out of the backfield as a pass-catching threat. Despite the Packers drafting running back A.J. Dillon in the second round this year, Jones is expected to carry the load among Green Bay’s backs. Jones also confirmed some news that should make Packers fans smile.
The Green Bay Packers’ draft was a head scratcher
Both of Green Bay’s Aarons had to be shaking their heads during the 2020 NFL draft. Quarterback Aaron Rodgers was admittedly surprised when the Packers traded up in the first round to select his eventual replacement, Utah State quarterback Jordan Love.
In the next round, Green Bay went with Boston College running back A.J. Dillon. That pick, too, was surprising after Aaron Jones put together a very impressive 2019 season. The Packers selected backups in the first two rounds for two of their top players.
Green Bay was one game away from reaching the Super Bowl. Their 2020 draft went as if they were planning for the future. The Packers don’t have a clear-cut No. 2 wide receiver behind Pro Bowler Davante Adams, and they never took a receiver in the entire draft. Instead of plugging in a couple of holes and trying to make another strong run to the Super Bowl, Green Bay seemed to be planning for life in 2023.
Aaron Jones blossoming into a top NFL running back
Aaron Jones played his college football at the University of Texas-El Paso. He wasn’t drafted until the fifth round of the 2017 NFL draft. The Green Bay Packers selected him with the 182nd overall pick.
Jones was patient in his rookie year as he had just 81 carries. He made the most of his opportunities, rushing for 448 yards and averaging 5.5 yards per carry. Jones finished with four rushing touchdowns. In his second year, he started eight of the 12 games he played and collected 728 yards on the ground with eight touchdowns. He also had one receiving score. He averaged a league-leading 5.5 yards per carry.
Last year, Jones became the focal point of the Packers’ ground game. He started all 16 games and had 236 carries for 1,084 yards. He led all running backs with 16 rushing touchdowns. Jones was a major part of Green Bay’s passing game as he caught 49 passes for 474 yards and three touchdowns.
Jones confirms some good news regarding his Green Bay future
Despite drafting running back A.J. Dillon in the second round of the 2020 NFL draft, the Green Bay Packers are making Aaron Jones a priority. There has been talk that the team and Jones have been working on signing the running back to a long-term deal. Jones, according to NFL Network’s Will Selva, confirmed that was the case on Tuesday.
Jones has been saying he’s focused on playing football. He’s not worried about finances at this point. Jones spoke on whether the Packers were working on a new deal for him. “Yes, they definitely are,” Jones said. “My agent and them are taking care of that. I’m gonna focus on football.”
Outside of Aaron Rodgers, Jones is arguably the Packers’ most valuable offensive player. Locking him up for a few more years would make many Green Bay fans happy.
All stats courtesy of Pro Football Reference.