Detroit Lions NFL Draft Countdown: 44 Days

Join us each day as we count down towards the first round of the 2011 NFL Draft. The countdown runs from 50 to zero and the number of days remaining will inspire the post for that day. Think of this as your NFL draft paper chain that loses one link each day!

With 44 days remaining until the start of the NFL draft, let’s talk about number 44, Jahvid Best, and the Lions running back situation.

Jahvid Best will enter the season as the clear number one running back. His turf toe injuries should be a thing of the past and everyone hopes to see the dynamic threat that we saw last year before we were forced to learn what a turf toe injury (actually, two in Best’s case) actually is. Perhaps Best will never be a full time feature back, but then again there are very few of those in the NFL anymore. The league has shifted towards a running back by committee approach that makes the “thunder and lightning” combinations that were novel ten years ago the norm.

Will the Lions look to draft a running back this year? Conventional wisdom says no because they have much more pressing needs elsewhere. The offense has received a lot of attention in the past few drafts and that has to shift to the other side of the ball at some point soon. That being said, Kevin Smith is not coming back next year and Maurice Morris is not a long term solution at the number two running back. Morris filled in nicely in spots next year and should be good enough to get the Lions through next season without having to take a running back in this draft but that doesn’t mean the Lions wouldn’t consider a running back if they think they have a perfect fit. Value is as important as need in the NFL draft and teams get themselves in trouble when they make a wrong step by reaching for a player of need rather than a player of talent.

There are still unanswered questions to consider: what is the coaching staff’s true feelings on Aaron Brown? Are they willing to bend to Jerome Felton‘s request for more carries? The answers to these questions will go a long way in providing clarity to the Lions running back situation.

Players drafted number 44 overall by the Detroit Lions:
Francis Kavenaugh (1936), Ernie Kiely (1950), Pete D’alonzo (1951), Bill Stitts (1954), Leon Crosswhite (1973), Ken Long (1976)

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Tags: Aaron Brown Detroit Lions Jahvid Best Jerome Felton Kevin Smith Maurice Morris NFL Draft

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