Current Running Backs
Zach Zenner, everyone’s favorite Lions moonlighting medical researcher, averaged a healthy 5.1 yards per attempt in the ground in the six games after Kerryon Johnson went down. But the Lions won just two of those games.
Additionally, considering Zenner’s special teams value, the Lions would likely prefer to keep his offensive snaps lower than what was needed from him in 2018. He’s also a free agent, and while the Lions seem likely to want him back, Zenner could explore his options on the open market this offseason.
Theo Riddick has been long considered more of a receiving threat out of the backfield than a rushing option. Riddick saw his rushing usage hit its lowest mark since his second season (40 attempts). With a new offensive coordinator and a potential cap savings of nearly $3.5 million, the Lions could elect to move on.
LeGarrette Blount averaged 2.7 yards per rushing attempt in 2018, which was disappointing. And at age 32, the pending free agent is unlikely to return.
What’s Next and Who’s Available?
The Lions currently have just over $30 million in salary cap space this offseason, putting them directly in the middle of the league. This amount will likely increase when they start making some tough personnel decisions.
Bob Quinn has been rather frugal in his free agency spending during his tenure, and that is unlikely to change this year. As it stands, they have nine picks in the upcoming draft. It seems doubtful that they will spend a high pick on a running back who will be pegged as a backup or developmental player.
There are several options in free agency and the draft, however, that could help the Lions fill their need for a power complement to Kerryon Johnson.
With that said, here are four players that the Lions could target …