Yesterday’s visit with Alex Green, along with previous visits with Mike Leshoure and DeMarco Murray, suggests the Lions could be looking for a running back in the upcoming draft.
Jahvid Best will be the unquestioned number one back but he won’t be a 30 carry per game back. Maurice Morris could be a serviceable compliment to Jahvid Best next season but it should come as no surprise that the Lions will explore potential upgrade or future replacement through the draft.
Alex Green, RB, Hawaii
Weight: 225 lbs.
Arm Length: 32 in.
Hand Size: 9 1/8 in.
40-yard dash: 4.53 sec
Watch his combine workout
Green does not project to be an every-down back at the next level, but he is a weapon in the passing game and could contribute on third down. He has prototypical size, but he runs a bit upright and will not consistently break tackles in the NFL. He also has a case of fumble-itis. He excels in the passing game, as he shows the ability to consistently get open, catches the ball away from his body and turns upfield without any wasted motion. Green will likely be a late round pick due to his ability as a receiver.
Alex Green is a much deeper prospect than the other running backs the Lions brought in for visits. He is ranked as the number 25 running back on the National Football Post big board. NFP’s Wes Bunting joined Ryan Terpstra and Tom Kowalski on their radio show yesterday and touched on the running back position a bit (listen here). Bunting disagreed with Mel Kiper’s third round mock draft selection of Kansas State running back Daniel Thomas and mentioned Nebraska’s Roy Helu as a better option for the Lions as a later round running back prospect. Some of the traits that Bunting didn’t like about Thomas apply to Alex Green as well, one of those being his tendency to run high. ESPN rates Green as “below average” in the Power/Balance category with the following note:
Runs a bit high. Does not run with a wide base and is chopped down too easily at times. Runs hard and more often than not knows when to lower his shoulder and deliver a blow. But does not run with natural pad level and is not a powerful runner for his size.
Green is regarded as anywhere from a fourth round pick to undrafted free agent. Some team could take a chance based on potential while others may look elsewhere due to some uncertainty. This notion is evident in the bottom line of the Sporting News profile of Alex Green:
Green has the size, strength, quickness, explosiveness, speed and athleticism to be a good NFL starter but didn’t get the ball enough in college for personnel men to feel good about him being a durable long-term solution. He looked great on film but was unimpressive at the East-West Shrine practices, which is a concern. He is sure to shine at the NFL Scouting Combine and in other pre-draft workout, but GMs should be a bit wary because he hasn’t proved a lot on the field. That said, he has the potential to develop into an Arian Foster-type back.
Could the Lions be looking at using a pick on Alex Green or are they doing some due diligence in case he is available as an undrafted free agent? Time will tell.