Detroit Lions: Building depth at running back an offseason priority
Detroit Lions draft options
The more likely scenario is that with nine or ten picks in the upcoming draft that the Lions will select another rusher in the middle rounds. Needs at edge rusher, cornerback, wide receiver, tight end, tackle, and guard could all trump adding another back, though. If we consult a good source for draft info like NFL Draft Scout, we can identify some mid-round talent that might fit the bill.
Let’s assume for the purpose of this article that the Lions will pass up on the top few running backs. My guess is that general manager, Bob Quinn, will draft at least two of those top needs before considering a running back. Roughly, that would put the Lions at going after about the tenth best runner available, in the third-fourth round range.
Kick in the Crotch Weekly is a self-appointed draft expert, cliche but true, and has chosen several Day Two or later players who could provide the depth needed to keep the running game going in the event of an injury.
The 2019 NFL Annual Selection Meeting, aka the Draft, will not be heavy on top talent at running back. There is no Saquon Barkley. In fact, there may be only one or two worth a first round pick in this class. That fact doesn’t hurt the Lions, though, as they are looking for a player who can be a second option with some upside.
What we want is a player who can run effectively but also catch and block. Assuming the Lions keep Zach Zenner and Theo Riddick with Kerryon Johnson, the Lions’ real need is another multi-purpose back. Riddick is the third down, receiving specialist. Zenner is a thumper, power runner type, although he can catch some.
Looking past the top couple of rounds, the Detroit Lions should have quite a few prospects available who can contribute as runners, receivers, and blockers. Next are four that caught my eye.