The Detroit Lions attempted to add veteran running back Malcolm Brown to their roster earlier this month. Here are three free agent runners similar to him.
The Detroit Lions found the future of their rushing attack in the second round of the 2018 NFL Draft in Auburn’s Kerryon Johnson. But the impressive rookie was limited to just 10 games due to a knee injury and has a worrisome injury history. So the Lions must bulk up their running back depth.
Detroit tried to do just that earlier this month, signing Los Angeles Rams’ restricted free agent running back Malcolm Brown is an offer sheet. But the Rams decided to match the two-year, $3.25 million deal in order to retain Brown. And the Lions are still in need of a veteran running back. Here are three free agents who make sense.
Like Brown, Isaiah Crowell went undrafted when he came out of Alabama State in 2014. Unlike Brown, who has started just one game in the regular season, Crowell has posted 51 starts during his professional career. Yet, he’s still only 26-years old and has a history of success in the league as a starter. Crowell recorded 685 rushing yards and six touchdowns averaging 4.8 yards per carry with the New York Jets last season.
The Lions know about Crowell’s abilities first-hand. The veteran rushed for 102 yards and two scores on just 10 carries in last season’s 48-17 blowout loss to the Jets at Ford Field in Week One.
Update: According to sources, Crowell has agreed to a one-year, $2.5 million deal to join the Oakland Raiders.
A former second-round selection out of Alabama in 2015, T.J. Yeldon has spent the last four seasons with the Jacksonville Jaguars. Unfortunately, Yeldon failed to live up to his draft hype. Despite being scaled back in the offense substantially the past two years, the 25-year old was still able to post a career-high 5.2 yards per carry in 2017 and 55 receptions just last season. Yeldon still has upside and could start living up to his potential running beside a player like Kerryon.
Similar to Brown, Javorius “Buck” Allen is a veteran running back that’s been limited his entire pro career. With just six starts under his belt, and that was back in 2015, Allen was used more as a receiver out of the backfield than a running back his last couple seasons with the Baltimore Ravens. But coming out of USC, the 27-year old was viewed as a powerful, but agile runner who could do a little bit of everything. That kind of versatility would be useful in Detroit.