Detroit Lions: Is drafting running back early an overreaction?

BATON ROUGE, LA - NOVEMBER 25: Derrius Guice
BATON ROUGE, LA - NOVEMBER 25: Derrius Guice /

Issues with the Detroit Lions’ running game is well documented. Beyond the running back position, there are other important factors needed for improvement.

Detroit Lions‘ general manager Bob Quinn wasted little time after the conclusion of the 2017 season firing ex-offensive line coach Ron Prince. To usher in a new era, Jeff Davidson is the new man controlling things up front.

Davidson specializes in coordinating the run game. His units from previous jobs have been somewhat lackluster as pass protectors which is concerning to a degree.

Running back LeGarrette Blount signing with the Lions also helps drastically. At the moment, the front office has confidence with most of last years core. This speaks volumes to where the real issues are.

Injuries devastated the Lions offensive line in 2017. Continuity is critical with the big boys up front. There is still a wide open spot to fill.

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Certainly, the Lions need to draft a running back capable of making game changing plays, but not until they address guard/center. A back with breakaway speed and quickness to take it to the house on any given play would complete an already diverse stable of runners.

Beyond the offense, Detroit needs help in the pass rush department, especially from the interior. With the need for another edge rusher, it doesn’t make sense to push any of the three needs I mentioned further down the board for another running back.

The Lions are a passing team first. They need to be serviceable running the ball, but more importantly, convert when it matters. Once the offensive line stays healthy, another young stud guard/center is drafted and Davidson sprinkles his magic dust around, things should improve rather quickly.

A deep running back class means Detroit can hold off til the mid rounds and still find good value. Detroit wants to trade down and that makes it more ideal to reach for one higher if that happens.

Next: Detroit Lions NFL draft 3.0: 7-rounds, beyond the mock

Based on projections and more pressing positions to address, waiting on running back is the way to go. If the offensive line isn’t straightened out, it won’t matter who the running back is because the struggles will continue.