Every running back linked to the Lions is a bad fit
Many running backs have been linked to the Detroit Lions this offseason. It makes sense, the Lions had the 27th ranked rushing attack in the league, and their offense was almost entirely one-dimensional last season. Their running game’s failure came from a few different sources, though, and their problem does not lie at running back.
Ameer Abdullah was injured early in the season and never returned to the field. Theo Riddick struggled with injuries himself down the stretch, missing a few key games late in the year. Dwayne Washington missed a lot of time as well. The Lion’s main running back in the later stages of the season was Zach Zenner. Zenner was decent, but he is not good enough to be a starting running back on a team that hopes to compete in the playoffs.
Another issue was the Lions outright terrible offensive line last season. Their most highlighted struggles were in the passing game. They did not do much to help the run either. With the addition of Rick Wagner and T.J. Lang, their offensive line has suddenly become one the better units in the league, meaning more running room for Abdullah and Riddick when they are healthy.
Despite this, many still believe the Lions should either approach a running back in free agency or draft one this spring. Many names have been linked to the Lions, but if it was up to me they would sign… none of then. Here’s why…
Every RB Detroit’s been linked to and why they don’t fit:
When the Minnesota Vikings released Adrian Peterson in February, the whole league began to speculate where he would land. The biggest favorites were the Giants, Raiders or him signing a smaller deal with the Vikings. Latavius Murray went to Minnesota, taking them out of the picture, and Peterson still finds himself as a free agent. Some recent reports have linked him to Detroit, but the Lions investing in their former rival may not be a wise decision.
Name recognition is pretty much all Peterson brings to a team nowadays. Injuries have haunted him throughout his career, and he has done a good job bouncing back from them for the most part. Most notably running for over 2,000 yards in 2012 only a year removed from a brutal knee injury the year before. He only played three games in 2016, and averaged 1.9 yards per carry. The Lions already have Abdullah and Riddick, bringing another injury prone inconsistent back at an even higher price will do nothing to help the team.
Leonard Fournette and Dalvin Cook
The two top-ranked running backs in the draft –Leonard Fournette and Dalvin Cook — have fallen all the way to the Lions in a few odd mock drafts. They will most likely not be available at the 21st anyways, but even if they are, the Lions should pass. There are way too many needs on the roster and wasting a first-round pick on a running back is a huge waste. Drafting a rookie does not guarantee that they will pan out either, and the Lions would be wiser to take a risk on a linebacker than a running back.
There’s a lot I could say about Mixon. He is projected to be drafted in the fourth round, still a little early for a team with a defense that was as thin as the Lions last year to pick a running back. But that doesn’t matter. Joe Mixon is not a player that deserves to play for the Detroit Lions.
When general manager Bob Quinn took over the team, one of the promises he made to fans was that he will take issues like domestic abuse seriously. Drafting Mixon would go against the values we hoped he instilled in this team. It would isolate many female fans, and tell them that they are not as important as winning football games is. As a lifelong Lions fan, I will extremely disappointed if I learned that those are the type of values this team holds.
-Like the SideLion Report Facebook and Follow Us on Twitter: @SideLionReport