Detroit Lions 2018 NFL Draft: 4 running back targets

COLUMBUS, OH - OCTOBER 28: Saquon Barkley
COLUMBUS, OH - OCTOBER 28: Saquon Barkley /

With the 2018 draft only a few months away, it’s time to start seriously looking at options that can help to reestablish the Detroit Lions’ run game.

It’s no secret the Detroit Lions are in desperate need of a run game heading into the 2018 season.

Luckily for general manager Bob Quinn the 2018 draft is loaded with talented backs. Here’s a list of running backs that the Motor City should consider adding to the roster.

Saquon Barkley

Although this one is a long-shot seeing as how most draft experts have Barkley as a top five pick, but Detroit could find a way to trade up for him, crazier things have happened.

The Lions haven’t had a 100-yard rusher since Reggie Bush did it in 2014. That’s an unbelievably long drought that needs to end early in 2018. Barkley could help with that, during his three years at Penn State he averaged 104.1 yards per game.

Barkley has a style similar to Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott. He runs with power, can generate explosive runs, and can contribute on passing downs. Barkley ran for 3,436 yards total in his college career and he holds the record for most rushing touchdowns in Penn State history (43).

Derrius Guice

The former LSU Tiger would make a perfect fit for Detroit. The 5’11” 218 pound 20 year-old came up under current Jacksonville Jaguar Leonard Fournette.

Guice is an explosive runner who’s hard for any defender to take down. With the ability to make defenders miss Guice can reach top speed instantly when he gets into open space. He would be a huge pick up for the Lions and it’s very likely he will still be in play when Quinn picks up the phone for the 20th overall pick.

Ronald Jones II

This is one of the more practical picks for the Detroit Lions in the 2018 draft. Ronald Jones II out of the University of Southern California would be a great addition to the team as a second round draft pick.

Jones II rushed 39 touchdowns in his three year career at USC. The 6’1″ 200 pound 20 year-old averaged 120.2 yards per game during the 2017 season. He ran for 3,151 total in his college career. The former Trojan would be welcomed with open arms to Detroit where he would quickly make his name known.

Rashaad Penny

San Diego State’s Rashaad Penny is a workhorse. The 5’11” 220 pound back has the strength to run between the tackles and run with authority. Penny would be another very likely candidate for the Lions as he will most likely still be on the board in the second round when the team calls out their second pick.

Penny ran for a ridiculous 2,248 yards in the 2017 season alone, scoring a 23 touchdowns. Detroit’s offensive line had trouble staying healthy during the 2017 season and having those same troubles again next season are not out of the question. Having a big back like Rashaad Penny that can fight off tacklers and power through for extra yards would be an excellent addition to the team.

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Those were just four of the many talented backs that will be featured in the 2018 draft. The Motor City needs to add a talented back to take some of the pressure off franchise quarterback Matthew Stafford going into the 2018 season. Bob Quinn has a lot of potential to chose from, so here’s to hoping that the run game woes in Detroit are a thing of the past.