Aug 22, 2014; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Lions running back George Winn (38) scores a touchdown during the fourth quarter against the Jacksonville Jaguars at Ford Field. Detroit won 13-12. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports
Many fans were taken aback when I listed RB as one of the top Detroit Lions draft needs this coming season. While it’s true Reggie Bush and Joique Bell made history in 2013 as rushing/receiving backs, there is a reason it’s the first time to ever occur. It’s not a sustainable formula to have two nearly 30 backs doing all the heavy lifting AND helping the receiving game.
In 2015, Bush will be 30 and Bell 29. We can quote “low mileage” cliches all we want, but there has never been a correlation to number of carries and NFL success at 30 for RBs. It’s a high impact position that must ALWAYS be upgraded and augmented. 2015 is the best RB class in a decade, and there’s no way the Lions pass up a need in this class.
The free agent market is a wasteland of injured talent the Lions could potentially dip into to help their running back by committee approach, but it’s much more likely they turn to the draft. Massively talented Todd Gurley (Who probably leads the Heisman race right now) headlines the group that also features Melvin Gordon of Wisconsin and Ameer Abdullah of Nebraska. Jay Ajayi of Boise State and Jeremy Langford of MSU are other potential options the Lions could use to keep their backs fresh as they move forward and keep the stable running into the future.