The Detroit Lions need a running back to pair with Kerryon Johnson in 2019. NFL.com believes they’ll find themselves a Sanders in the third round.
The Detroit Lions figure to be in the midst of a running game resurgence in the Motor City. In the second round of last year’s draft, Detroit traded up to select Auburn running back Kerryon Johnson.
In his first ten games, Johnson flashed abilities fans haven’t seen in several years. Averaging a whopping 5.4 yards per carry, Kerryon racked up 641 yards and three touchdowns before a knee injury ended his rookie campaign prematurely. Johnson also posted 32 receptions for 213 yards and another score.
This offseason, Detroit added Darrell Bevell as their offensive coordinator. Bevell has coached some of the top running backs in the NFL including Adrian Peterson and Marshawn Lynch. On Tuesday, the Lions hired former Cincinnati Bengals running backs coach Kyle Caskey to join their staff in the same position. Caskey helped Bengals’ running back Joe Mixon rush for 1,168 yards in 2018, the fourth highest total in the NFL.
Now the only thing that appears to be missing is a young running back to pair with Johnson. And NFL.com draft analyst Chad Reuter recently mocked Penn State running back Miles Sanders to the Lions in the third round of the upcoming draft. Here’s Reuter’s explanation for the selection which appeared on league’s official website.
"“Kerryon Johnson missed six games due to injury last season and LeGarrette Blount is due to become a free agent. Sanders was a bit underrated after following Saquon Barkley at PSU — a big showing at the combine will bring him into the forefront.”"
Sanders comes into this draft class a bit underrated having to follow someone like Saquon Barkley at Penn State. But the 5-foot-11, 215-pound running back is ultra-shifty, tough-nosed and surprisingly quick. A one-year starter, Sanders racked up an impressive 1,274 rushing yards and nine touchdowns in 2018, averaging 5.8 yards per carry. He could make a perfect partner for Kerryon Johnson in the Motor City.